When Pakistan won the T20 world cup , there was this usual awards,celebrations and it was welcome to a nation which is having a battle on its hands.For me, a long lasting Cricket junkie it was originally a final likely to be between South Africa and Srilanka which is to be won by SriLanka. So when my wife who does not know the difference between off stump and leg stump told me that it is Pakistan which will win this title long before the semifinal; I just smirked.She is usually into "bandini","Aap ki Antara",Kitni Mohabbat hai" etc.But suddenly she started watching the IPL2 without knowing the difference between South Africa or Newzealand.So for a news junkie like me though it was welcome it was rather funny.But her interest continued upto world cup and that her remote was alternating with the soaps and advts was realy surprising to me.But to pick Pakistan was realy a surprise but i know she had a good hunch. When the final started and Sri Lanka lost 2 quick wickets including dependable Dilshan she started looking at me " i told you so".But when Jayasuriya started showing his skill, i know Srilanka will recover.But Jayasuriya and then when Jayawardane got out, i know it is curtains for SriLanka and i went to my usual surfing . But i never expected a total of 139 and i thought still Lanka had a remote chance. But 50 for 1 and i know Pakistan will romp home.But again the midddle overs were good with Malinga but Afridi changed it when the time came. It was easy for Pakistan in the end but SriLanka put up a good fight .
I am a smalltown boy but had always loved cricket though our town had mostly Hockey lovers. We played cricket with cork ball and being a voracious reader i read all about cricket being played throughout world as we had no radio at that time.People may not know the names like Neville Cardus, Jack Fingleton who can really bring matches live by their writing. Modern day Pakistani cricket lovers who paint their faces with Green Pakistani flags may not know the names like Mohameddens,Hindus etc as the teams were named before independence who used to play Cricket with Europeans. Amar singh,Nissar Mohamed a deadly opening bowling pair who used to be compared to Lindwall and Miller.Then came the first Pakistani cricket team to tour India.It was captained by Abdul hafeez Kardar and had team members like Gul Mohammed the fast bowler,medium pacer Fazal Mohamed and tiny Haneef mohamed only 17 years of age. I used to be enamoured of Fazal Mohammed as he used to take wickets though Gul Mohammed was faster than him. Vijay Hazare,Vinoo Mankad,Polly Umrigar are some of the Indian cricketers who used to perform well. We Indians always wanted our team to win though Indian team used to be afraid of fast bowling at that time till Gawaskar came along.Hall and Gilkhirst of west Indies were terror to Indians.Indians always used to be defeated by every test team. So we were thrilled to defeat Pakistani test team at that time. Soon Pakistan as a sporting nation had world champions in Squash with legendary Jehangir Khan, in Hockey they defeated our olympic team in Rome and in Cricket Pakistan defeated England at Lords in a test which Indians could never achieve . But we in India were proud that Pakistani caould defeat England at England as Indians always wanted England to be defeated by any other team which played against them.
Zaheer Abbas,Jawed Burki,Washim Akram and that willy offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq,Imran Khan ,Jawed Miandad are some of the names come to my mind.Today it is Afridi and the life goes on for Pakistani cricket. Every win in Pakistan is atributed to almighty Allah and so also will be this win.But to me an Indian Christian this Pakistani win showed what can be achieved by teamwork and dedication to a cause, led by an able leader.
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