The 2019 Cricket World Cup is here. But let’s go back in time – (as Pakistani Cricket fans usually do), to the year 1999. The month is January – a 12 year old boy is watching a test match between Pakistan and India on television along with his father – It was pretty much done and dusted for Pakistan.
My father switched the channel in hopeless surrender because India didn’t need many runs and Sachin was on the crease. But there was something inside me that was still hopeful, very, very hopeful. My gut was telling me it was not over. So I insisted that my father switch back to watching cricket.
“What do you want to see when we have already lost the match?”, he asked, with a great deal of irritation in his voice!
I wanted to watch the match, and I didn’t want to believe that all was lost. Upon my persistence and repeated requests, the channel was switched back again. And then it happened. Saqlain Mushtaq bowled to Sachin Tendulkar who was out caught, the match turned on its head in that very moment and … Pakistan won! We won that test match by 12 runs.
Cricket is my first passion and it was passed on to me by my father. He is very sensitive about cricket and so am I. I’m that Pakistani Cricket fan who never loses hope. (Except when Misbah ul Haq was our captain and we failed to perform in the Champion’s Trophy 2013 and World Cup 2015. (No offence to Misbah, he was a great test match leader and a great batsmen). So anyway, Pakistan lost its 1st match against West indies in the Cricket World Cup 2019 opening game. This was the the 11th consecutive loss for Pakistan.
Presently, especially after the dismal performance of the Pakistan Cricket Team in the 2019 Cricket World Cup opening match against West Indies, some fans are feeling hopeless and they want Captain Sarfaraz Ahmad to return to Pakistan, but, as you well know, I’m that dheet fan who refuses to believe that all is lost.
As a dheet Cricket Fan, I experience a combination of hopelessness and hopeful feelings both at the same time, and I know I’m not alone in this. There are many Cricket fans out there, who are hoping and praying that Despair gives way to Hope and Confidence!
My mind wanders in the not-too-distant past, trying to make sense of a theory where I can at least sleep in peace, knowing that it’s okay to lose the first match brutally because … it’s our tradition anyway – because it’s the way we operate as a team.
We gather speed and momentum with every successive match!
Come rain or shine, we MUST support our team. Here are some theories that have proved astoundingly correct in the past, and in my opinion, all odds are stacked in Pakistan’s favour.
3 things that have been known to favour the Pakistan Cricket Team are bad form, Ramazan and England.
- In the 1992 world cup, Captain Imran Khan initially did not include Javed Miandad in the squad, but due to extreme public pressure, Miandad found a place in the Pakistan World Cup XI, and the rest, as we all know, is history!
- In 1992, Pakistan experienced the worst possible start when we won just 1 match in the first 5 matches that we played. But we are all well aware of the final result.
- In The World T20 2009, we suffered from an extremely poor run rate and then somehow, Abdur Razzaq was included in the side and the entire team performance changed after that one inclusion.
- In Champion’s Trophy 2017, we all recall how badly we lost to India in the first match. We started the tournament ranked number 8, but as soon as we said good bye to Wahab Riaz after the first match and called in his replacement, everything changed, and the rest is history.
- We were not favorites in 1992, 2007, or 2017 and even now, Pakistan is ranked as the 5th favorite team.
- Ramazan played its part in 1992 and Champion’s Trophy 2017, so hopefully, Ramazan 2019 will send us some positive vibes as well!
England is our favorite playing ground. We played The World Cup 1999 final in England, we won The World T20 2009 in England, we won Champion’s Trophy 2017 in England, so I think England will most likely favor us again.
Never lose hope, we can do this, we will do this, all we need is to believe that we CAN!
P.S. Whatever the result will be, I’m proud that I supported Captain Sarfaraz Ahmad as a player and as a captain. He won us the Under 19 World Cup, he won us the Champion’s Trophy 2017, he recently won the PSL Trophy in 2019. This guy has done a lot for us, respect him for his services.
Winning or losing is part of the game, and we as a jazbaati Cricketing nation, must remember to give respect to our players in an international arena.
Jeet Mein Bhi Saath, aur Haar mein bhi! Pakistan Zindabad!
Tayyab Bombal wears many hats – A menswear fashion designer, a teacher and a cricket fanatic.