“When you look into Pakistan cricket, Pakistan cricket looks into you” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Nothing prepares a person better for living in Pakistan than growing up as a fan of the Pakistan cricket team. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pakistan cricket for teaching me that happiness is a lie and we were all born to suffer.
The ODI team has reminded every Pakistani of our own morality with their performance. That too, merely days after being crowned the number one test team – a format very few of us still care for. The only people who still watch test cricket in Pakistan are abandoned grandfathers and government employees during work hours. I am convinced a Pakistani government employee invented test cricket; why do something in 40 overs when you can take 5 days and multiple lunch/drinks/sleep breaks in the middle?
Test cricket is like making love, if you are a necrophiliac. If I wanted to struggle all day without getting a result only to go to different rooms at the end of the day and start again tomorrow, I’d just get married.
We proved the Two Nation Theory for once and for all. Pakistan and India are fundamentally different – they cannot bowl and we cannot bat
Still I enjoyed messaging every single Indian I found on Facebook reminding them that Pakistan is the number one test team, which definitely now proves the Two Nation Theory for once and for all. Pakistan and India are two fundamentally different countries – they cannot bowl and we cannot bat.
It is not our fault that the bat does even worse in ODI cricket than the general elections in Punjab. Pakistan was colonised for a century. The British must have never let us bat! I am sure Lord Mountbatten made Mohammad Ali Jinnah bowl a few overs at him every time there was a cabinet meeting. Well England, all those Shohaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis bouncers later, who is laughing now? Well, you are, because you just beat us 4-1 in the ODI series; we only won the last match due to the white man’s burden. And there is the rub. Just when I was about to give up on Pakistan cricket once and for all, they go and win a match. That too, while chasing a score in excess of 300.
Suddenly, I believe Sarfaraz Ahmad will win us the next World Cup and marry Anushka Sharma on the pitch at Wankhede Stadium. Suddenly, Azhar Ali is not totally out of his depth – he is the next Misbah-ul-Haq in waiting. We did not recognise Misbah’s talents till he was 40. We just have to wait another decade till Azhar Ali becomes the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. We just have to listen to Mohammad Yousuf on mute till then.
Our squad is no more inexperienced than a Pakistani man before marriage – it is young. Our fielding is not poorer than a civilian in a Cantonment area – it is improving. Our bowling is not more scattergun than the Punjab Police’s guns – it is unpredictable.
The old cliché is shouted from the rooftops again, “We can beat anyone on our day.” Even if our day comes when the other team does not care anymore but if my three-year-old nephew is happy thinking that he bowled me out with a ball that never left the ground, let him be.
Pakistan cricket is the reason Pakistan has never made any tangible progress in the past few decades. Just that tiny ray of hope at the end of another infrastructural collapse or another civilian overthrow or another war makes us think that things will get better. We do not need an overhaul; we just need some more luck. Some rains, some good balls and some resilience and we can beat anyone on our day.
The entire country is waiting to become a world leader overnight by going on a run like the cricket team in the 1992 world cup. We are so desperate that we are even trying to elect the same captain. Do not be surprised if Intikhab Alam is made president when PTI comes into power. Too bad that PTI’s performance each election is akin to our bowling line-up going for 444 runs in 50 overs.
The fact that despite that performance I will still watch the next time our cricket team plays, shows that ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ should be renamed to ‘The Pakistani Cricket fan syndrome’ – the constant hope followed by the inevitable despair; like a junkie perpetually trying to recreate his first hit
In summary, dear Pakistan Cricket Team, tum jeeto ya haaro, hum tum pay khuwaar hein!