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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An imaginative angle to Pakistan’s English white wash

Once upon a time Pakistan cricket ruled the world. In eighties and early nineties they challenged the very best. After an agonizing period of underachievement in best part of late nineties came the worst phase when they became pariahs of the cricketing world. But then fortune changed as success started to smile upon them again.
Pakistan, often, can do what others only dream of – in both success as well as failures. A whole decade from 1999 to 2010 was marred by controversies, shocking defeats and underachievement. The young generation will remember that era like ‘once upon a time we were so rubbish’, but a true fan or a chronic follower of Pakistan cricket will only give it a passing reference though in a sad and touching way. There is so much in Pakistan cricket that it cannot be ignored as a product. The brand has always been attractive and will always be.
By thrashing and ‘green-washing’ England, Pakistan has signaled return back to the golden days. Tomorrow’s historian will remind his readers by saying ‘once upon a time World’s number one team was rolled over by Pakistan who were isolated to the edge of the cricketing fraternity’. That will be the time when true merits of this huge success would be realized. They say when we are too close to a thing we cannot appreciate its true value.  Today we can celebrate this victory and term it a huge one but its grandiosity will continue to increase with each passing day. The reason being this win is a harbinger of something special to come. As a cricket lover and follower I can sense that.
It is team Misbah. Misbah has surprised even his biggest fan by becoming the central figure of Pakistan’s success. The man who enjoys love and hate relationship with his fans has come out as a messiah for his beleaguered team. Merely two years ago, after being overlooked in the squad of 35, he was contemplating retirement and wanted to burn his kit out of frustration. After the manic events of 2010 in which spot-fixing saga shook the cricket world, he became the logical choice, and the only reasonable one, for captaincy. His calmness, friendly nature and strong mind turned a bunch of individuals into a fighting unit.
The task has just begun. We have seen enough desolation. Now is the time to rise and shine. The victory achieved in the Arabian Desert should not go to waste. Under Misbah, the team will achieve more and continue its ascendancy. But the test is what next after Misbah and the current bunch. We need to plan a smooth transition in the next two years. If we can mastermind that effectively, we would be able to say proudly somewhere in the future, ‘we were invincible once upon a time’!

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