How often do we see that sports personalities of any country are treated in a bad way, or completely forgotten? This is by the same nations who used to cheer for them once, or love them so much that no conversation was complete without their names in it. Specially during tournaments of high intensity, or whenever there was a World championship in which they performed well, the whole nation would be proud of them, talk to and about them, and make them feel on top of the world. But soon after you find their replacement, after which they end up retiring, no one ever remembers them or even cares a bit about where they are or what they are doing.
By now, we’ve all figured it out that this post too, is related to Arshad Khan, the former Pakistani off-spinner, who was recognized driving an Uber taxi in Sydney, Australia. The news went viral on social media and news, and it definitely should. Little did the nation’s “pride”, the “shaheen”, the front-line off-spinner of Pakistan National Cricket Team know, that soon after his retirement, he would have to drive a taxi to earn a living, that too outside his own country, just because the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), or the nation he played for, does not have enough to give him which can support his family.
But my point here today is not about Arshad Khan and Arshad Khan only. It’s about the hundreds of people like Arshad Khan, who have been somehow linked with Pakistan Sports, or media, or science and technology, or government offices, or basically, who have made the nation proud and served it with all their heart and will. It’s about their families, their surroundings, their communities. It’s about the society, and the future of Pakistan. It’s about our system, our mind-sets and the humanity factor that has been fading away gradually.
Considering the issue in hand, the questions that i have today are: How many more Arshad Khan’s are we raising in our society? How many more ‘heroes’ are we grooming, just to be left on their own once they have benefited us? What are we doing to end the shame that a person like Arshad Khan has to face when he can not talk to, or make eye contact with the passengers in his taxi PROUDLY? Is this how we repay our heroes?
Of what i can make out of all this is that Arshad Khan definitely is not driving a taxi because he wants to, or he had always dreamt of doing so. It is the circumstances that he had to face that led him to end up where he is. Still, the reasons MIGHT include other personal problems or preferences, but i’m sure if the PCB had supported people like him, our ‘heroes’ would definitely not be living such lives.
I, as a Pakistani who is deeply hurt, disappointed, and extremely sad to see one of my HERO’s in this situation, do not want to bash the PCB, or critique the system demanding answers, or create any sort of controversy. What i want to do is raise awareness and make sure the message reaches to the officials, that we as a nation expect more from you, and we believe in you, it’s just times like these when we need to be reassured that we have a Board or a nation that is capable to not just produce and groom raw talent from the streets, but to take care of them and make sure they get what they deserve: A life they will not regret living for their country.