Pakistani Cricket: Not Just a Win
By Romesha Khalid
Toronto , Canada
Pakistan always has been a nation of miraculous survival.
Burdened by war, distraught by multiple enemies, crumbling due to lack of stable economy, badmouthed in the cricket arena by critics across the globe. This one nation that has been salvaging itself over the course of history, rising above its challenges and challengers alike, has done it again in the T20 cricket semi-final.
They came with a bad physical and even worse psychological form, many of them hailing from cities that are constantly attacked by terrorists sent from Afghanistan. They came to England with a lot on their minds; the T20 World Cup was just one of them. They were not able to play any decent cricket for the past 2 years, almost. No one expected any thing more of them this time. The political crisis has become so intertwined with our cricket lives that even the commentators were (intentionally or not) using phrases like “this is the Pakistan to be afraid of”. I personally loved that.
But once again, the Pakistani nation rose to support the only group of people who we have relied and loved unconditionally since the beginning; our cricket team. Just this one, they forgot about the war, forgot about the politicians busy playing them behind their backs, forgot about the social maladies, forgot about the lack of money, forgot about all their troubles and put their country and its ambassadors to the forefront. The cricketers themselves worked to put all problems on the back shelf just temporarily and focus on this one ray of hope that can have such a huge psychological impact on a country no one has hope for any more.
Our team was criticised the moment it lost the warm-up match to India. It was criticised for experimenting with their batting line-up, it was criticised for losing where it didn’t even matter! India, on the other hand, had the whole world rooting for them. (That is a trademark Indian ploy, by the way.) Indians across the globe were ready to put Dhoni in a temple and start worshipping him. The arrogance in their step was unmistakeable. But their defeat was equally unwelcome and now caricatures of Dhoni are being burned on the streets! South Africa itself was being hailed as the perfect team, the ultimate T20 hotshot. They were undefeated throughout the tournament but ended up falling victim to the law of averages. You have to lose somewhere, and by the Grace of Allah, Pakistan lost at just the right moments.
And they won at the right ones, too. It is crucial to remember why Pakistan’s win is so important. This win is not about winning at all. It is about showing the world that once again, Pakistan has performed in the face of difficulty; death of their coach, attack on their country, bombing of their cities, exploitation of their money. A nation who the whole world had given up on has turned around to come out with a lot more than they expected. But they earned it. These players were working under the pressure of not only the game, but the political games being played with their loved ones in their hometowns. Sometimes, Allah sends motivation from unusual sources.
Younis Khan has even decided to dedicate the cup to Bob Woolmer should Pakistan take it home with them. Pakistanis around the world are praying that we do bring it home. We must continue these prayers and pray two Rakats of thanks to Allah for providing us with hope and motivation when all things were falling apart. Let it be known that our win is not defined by the World Cup (even though we are going to pray long and hard that we win it and win it GOOD). Rather, our win is defined by our ability to overcome difficulties, rise above the challenge and stand united so we can show our enemies we are not defeated; we will never be.
Pakistan Zindabad. WWW.AHMEDQURAISHI.COM
Ms. Khalid can be reached at email@example.com