Many of my readers have raised eyebrows after I have liked the Pakistani Cricket team on Facebook. I do not feel the need to justify myself, since it is but obvious that cricket is a display of skills and temperament and has nothing to do with one’s political preferences. I have ceased to remain a cricket fan, after they started covering half of the TV screen with ads, and cheerleaders took over dada’s enthusiasm. However, I do find it an interesting idea for an article; why someone – who has the least interest in cricket, would go all the way and like the cricket team of a ‘rival’ country?
Well, Pakistan is not just a country like any other. It is a cohesion of multiple forces living together. The Pakistani establishment can be broadly divided into three forces – the jihadi groups, the military establishment and the people. While the other establishments may have different interests, and we may have our reasons to hate and accuse them, a major part of Pakistan is people. Hardworking and simple people like you and me – who struggle for the daily bread and butter on their tables, who don’t care for hatred or wars. All they want is to live in peace.
While India and Pakistan, at a political level are at on-and-off-war since partition, rarely think of how wonderful life would have been, had the partition not happened! Within decades, we have become so unrecognizable, so aloof of each other’s concerns. What makes the Indo-Pakistani conflict even more dangerous is that both sides contain nuclear weapons. With the possibility that Pakistan might become a failed state, there is a good chance of a major genocide erupting in the twenty-first century. The ‘people of Pakistan’ is our only hope of establishing peace within and outside the country.
Very much like India, Pakistan’s religion is also cricket. Their cricket has suffered badly in recent times due to the political unrest. Pakistani people seriously need a moral boost to keep the country rolling. I was thinking about this for long and arrived to a conclusion – that a big win of Pakistan in the next world cup will get the people on their front foot. It will give them the moral boost to stand up and run. I know the thought might be stupid and naive. But rarely do we think that India has gone way ahead, at-least in cricket, with billions of rupees being spent on infrastructural and talent hunt. Where does Pakistani cricket stand? Even if we keep the political reasons aside, won’t a strong Pakistani cricket team bring back the age old thrill of watching an Indo-Pak cricket match?