View Full Version : Why the CIA should fund cricket .

07-24-2009, 06:18 PM
This is a link to a talk by Professor Tunku Varadarajan
Stern Business School. New York University .http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2009/2630978.htm .He proposes that cricket perfect foil for the Taliban's religious puritanism ,that it is already amazingly popular in Pakistan ,the ready made antidote to the Taliban ....the two don't go together !

Here's a c&p of his talk .

Los Estados Unidos

Cricket Vs. The Taliban

Tunku Varadarajan (http://search.forbes.com/search/colArchiveSearch?author=tunku+and+varadarajan&aname=Tunku+Varadarajan), 06.21.09, 05:15 PM EDT Will a glorious sport rescue Pakistan from the Islamists?


As Pakistan fights for its survival against the barbarian Taliban--who would turn that fragile quasi-democracy into an Islamist state so extreme as to obliterate all girls' schools from the face of the land--its people find themselves possessed of a weapon with which to vanquish the forces of darkness. I speak here not of drones or tanks or helicopter gunships, but of the glorious game of cricket.
Pakistan's national cricket team has just won the World Cup in a version of cricket called Twenty20, a dynamic, novel form of the game that might be compared--for the benefit of American readers--to a three-inning baseball game, short, eventful and innovative.

The cricket victory is the best news that Pakistanis have had since the departure from power of their military dictator, Pervez Musharraf; and unlike the latter event, which only ushered in a long period of uncertainty and violence, the former offers clarity, light and a shot at redemption from evil.
I am stating the obvious in saying that the cricket win is a monumental boost to a nation drained of all morale. Besides, my broader point is about much more than morale. Cricket offers an alternative vision of civilization with which Pakistanis can contrast the viciously bleak program of the Taliban.
The Pakistani team has just beaten the world at something the Taliban would swiftly extinguish. How could cricket survive in a society where boys are not so much immersed as "waterboarded" in the Koran from a tender age; where pleasure is taboo unless it is derived from prayer (and even then one dare not call it pleasure); where music is banned, beards compulsory, cinema anathema, women caged away--where even the flying of kites is a punishable offense. What hope is there for cricket in a land where paper kites are ripped from the sky?

Cricket is a potent secular force in Pakistan, a secular lesson. It teaches people that man-made rules can be just, and give satisfaction. It teaches an honor unconnected to religiosity and modesty, tribal slights and vengeance. It teaches that exuberance can be constructive, and that individualism and innovation can be blessings (and, equally, that conservatism can often be dangerous). Cricket allows Pakistanis to play against men from other faiths and lands, and to belong with pride to a sporting commonwealth of cricket-playing nations that is a world away from the aridity of the ummah.


Cuyahoga Chuck
07-24-2009, 06:41 PM
I am suspicious of anyone who claims to understand cricket.

07-24-2009, 06:43 PM
If the claimer is Pakistani or Indian , believe .

07-24-2009, 07:32 PM
The CIA often funds things it has no real understanding of, so, why not?

07-24-2009, 07:35 PM
Cricket has long been thought of as a diplomatic tool.

Why the negativity Donn?

George Jung
07-24-2009, 07:43 PM
It's called humor, Garth! :D

Party on!

07-24-2009, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by Donn.
He should take a haircut.
It's called humor, Garth! :D

Party on!

I'd call it xenophobia at best.

07-24-2009, 08:39 PM
He's an American being asked to comment on cricket and it's place on the subcontinent ....you 'mos well ask me to comment on American football .:D

peter radclyffe
07-25-2009, 01:34 AM
give each soldier a chair, not a gun - jean anouilh

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-25-2009, 01:59 AM
Contributors to this thread from Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Pakistan will know that Professor Varadarajan is quite right.

Cricket is, in fact, starting to be played in Afghanistan:


and the effects are as described by the Professor. It is a rules based game with a strict code of honour which has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or sex where pleasure is derived from compliance with the rules and the code of honor. Since it is quite a tough game, requiring elements of physical courage, it may be well suited as an alternative to sniping and planting roadside bombs.

The British did not start it; the Pakistanis did.

Afghan refugees in Pakistan in the 1990's learned the game from their hosts; they are showing themselves to be quite promising.

An Afghan touring side played county sides in Britain a couple of years ago and did quite well IIRC.

07-25-2009, 02:08 AM
Make sense to me...let's break for lunch.:D

Three Cedars
07-25-2009, 09:55 PM
Who would of thought the Japanese would take to baseball , the game of their enemies ... curious that


Rob Blackburn
07-26-2009, 05:26 AM
Brilliant idea. Most sensible thing I have heard for a while. Compared with the thought that a 'crusader' army can subdue the sub continent it is very sound.

Shane Warne for captain.


07-26-2009, 05:45 AM
Make sense to me...let's break for lunch.:D

...and a cup of tea.:)

07-26-2009, 05:52 AM
Brilliant idea. Most sensible thing I have heard for a while. Compared with the thought that a 'crusader' army can subdue the sub continent it is very sound.

Shane Warne for captain.


If you allow me to include a few waitresses in the list.

07-26-2009, 06:19 AM
Anyone who has any understanding of cricket's importance on the subcontinent seems to agree with Professor Varadarajan ,an excellent idea and delightfully simple .I'm sure Pakistan would happily build a few dozen more stadia and a couple of cricket institutes ...all to oppose terrorism ,especially if the West funded the project .:)

07-27-2009, 03:43 AM
Make sense to me...let's break for lunch.:D
I've heard that cricket is the only sport where the players can actually gain weight during the course of a match.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2009, 05:11 AM

Only possible if your side spends a very short time fielding and a very long time batting...

...which is a recipe for losing the game! :D