Imran Khan’s latest tirade attacking the PSL and its foreign players whom he described as being of low class or low quality (the word ‘phateechar’ largely untranslatable) goes beyond almost every other ludicrous and distasteful comment the former cricketer-turned-political leader has made in the past. Imran appears not to understand that his comments simply inflict further damage on his own image. Attacking foreign players who stood by Pakistan and agreed to come to the country in difficult times as part of a morale-boosting exercise for the entire nation seems to be a particularly malevolent assault on the game that gave Imran Khan his standing. His comments have also been blatantly racist in character and his insulting language – first heard when he climbed atop that container in August 2014 – has certainly not improved.
The PTI chief needs a basic lesson in courtesy and hospitality. The players he has insulted all bring with them a considerable proficiency in the game. Captain of the Peshawar Zalmi Darren Sammy, from the West Indies, has the honour of captaining the West Indies and in 2012 leading them to their first World Cup victory since 1979. Anamul Haq from Bangladesh, who filled in for the Quetta Gladiators at the last minute after other foreign players declined to come to Pakistan, is also rated as a wicket-keeper batsman of outstanding talent. The same can be said for Sean Ervine of Zimbabwe who also played for the Gladiators, Rayad Emrit also of the West Indies and Marlon Samuels also from the same country. All have had the honour of representing their nations. What the PTI chief appears not to realise is that not every event can be tied in with politics. His vitriolic attack on the PSL appears to be a part of his increasingly senseless campaign against the PML-N government. There is simply no maturity and no sense of dignity in the words Imran spews out without apparent thought. The PSL united millions of people in the country. Imran has brought for himself the derision of all of them.