Aur Ehl-e-Hukum ke Sar Uper
(And over the head of the ruler)
Jab Bijli kard Kard Kardke gi
(When lightening will thunder)
Hum dekhien gay
Misbah ul Haq has certainly been part of the Ehl-e-Hukum of Pakistan Cricket for the past decade. Today in his press conference, unlike his earlier appearances, he brought along selection coordinator, Nadeem Khan. The point of the whole exercise was to highlight that he wasn’t running the show. The perception that Misbah ul Haq, is ruling the roost, is wrong, he argued. When Pakistan lost the Sri Lanka series, a headstrong Misbah was ridiculing valid questions from journalists. Today, he was defiant with his words but the team selection told us that, his backing is not as strong as he might have taught initially.
Starting from the decision to recall Umer Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad to the T20 side, to punting on Mohammad Musa, almost everything Misbah has done so far in his tenure has spectacularly backfired. After a plethora of illogical decisions based on intuition, the push back against Misbah is strong.
So, in trouble, he has resorted to a popular albeit correct call: Fawad Alam. A man ignored for ten years. One excuse after another was given (more on that later). The ultimate face-saving, the power move to curry some favour with the fans. It’s telling Haris Sohail has been retained and the poster boy for Misbah’s reign Iftikhar Ahmed dropped. Fawad Alam was ignored, and Iftikhar picked on the Australia tour because he bowled off-spin. Now, when conditions just might suit his bowling better, he has been dropped. A solitary test in England, then a gap of three years. Two games in Australia and dropped again. Harsh on the man. But given what has transpired with Fawad Alam for 10 years, you won’t find many sympathizers.
Hum Ehl-e-Safa Mardood-e-Haram
(Then we, of clean hearts–condemned by zealots those keepers of faith)
Masnad pe Bithaaiy jain gay
(We, will be invited to that altar to sit and Govern)
Hum dekhien gay
As for Fawad Alam, this is destiny. Very few in the history of the sport have a greater right than his to this throne. For 10 years, they have talked about his technique, they have talked about his temperament, they have talked about his character, and they have talked relentlessly. Yet every time he has responded with a truckload of runs. He could have sorted help from politicians. He could have gone crying to a journalist and made sensational claims. He could have asked the Chief of Army Staff to intervene. He could have got involved in match-fixing. He could have given up. But he didn’t.
In that is a victory for all the underdogs. A lesson for people who are struggling with their personal or professional life. For all those who have been neglected because a relative of the boss has been promoted ahead of you. For all those who can’t even think of applying for government jobs because of the inherent biases of the State of Pakistan. For all those who have been turned away to give the place to a politician or a general’s son or daughter. For all those who are fighting against this system which is designed to keep the other out and protect the elite. For those without privilege.
Uthay ga Analhaq ka Naara
(When the anthem of truth will be raised)
Jo Main bhi Hun aur Tumbhi ho
(Who I am too, And so are you)
Hum dekhien gay
So it is his time to shine. He owes that much to all of his fans, who have not given up hope. For all those who work tirelessly, despite being told they are not good enough. For his family; who have stood steadfast in his journey. And most of all he owes it to himself, for the sheer strength of his will and hard work.
Shine on my Champion, no one deserves it more than you!
P.S. Others in the Ehl-e-Hukum list include Sarfaraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Waqar Younus, Mohsin Khan, Dave Whatmore, and Mickey Arthur as captains and coaches. Haroon Rashid, Iqbal Qasim, Mohsin Khan, and Inzamam ul Haq as chief selectors. All of them collectively are responsible for this lost decade of Fawad Alam. If there is any justice in the world or hereafter, they will have to answer for this grave injustice.