Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The script was written for Pakistan

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It has been close to 48 hours after Pakistan won the ICC T20 World Cup but the celebrations in the war torn Pakistan refuses to die down. Perhaps the script was already written for the 'Men in Green' when they went to the tournament with the hopes and aspiration of a nation torn by war. Last year they got close to lifting the trophy but they were stopped at the final frontier by Team India.

Before the start of the tournament captain Younis Khan had said that a World Cup win would lift the spirits of his countrymen who have become victims of terrorism. At that time not many would have given the Pakistanis any chance of winning the tournament especially after they lost both their practice matches against South Africa and arch rivals India. In fact the Pakistani shoulders dropped when they suffered humiliating 9-wicket defeat against India.

Younis Khan and his men had come to the tournament with a lot of anger and lot to prove. The anger for being stripped off as the co-host of the ICC 2011 World Cup and being branded as 'Unsafe Country' for any international team to tour. They had come to England to prove that cricket was still alive in Pakistan despite the cricket crazy nation toughing a low when the Sri Lankan Cricket teams was attacked in Lahore.

Although they started the tournament slow unlike Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies they peaked at the right time. Once India and Australia were out of the tournament Pakistan fancied a great chance as South Africa cricketing history said they were bound to choke and West Indies has never been consistent in the last two decades while the Kiwis suffered from too many injury problems. Their only obstacle was Sri Lanka which played similar brand of cricket.

The thing that worked for the Pakistanis was they peaked when it mattered. Who would have thought a certain bloke called Shahid Afradi would come good not just once but both in the semi-finals and finals. He fire when the team needed its most experienced player to do so. Miracles do not happen in cricket and its the team that plays good on the day wins. Pakistanis were good when they needed to be and deserved the Champions tag.


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