Champions Trophy 2017, Yet another fairytale in Pakistan’s Cricket

                                      An account of a famous win and way forward…

Pakistanis were so jubilant and swamped with the occasion that none of us wanted end of victorious mood; just fancy this fervor continues for ever… Everyone had a story to tell about celebrations of this victory over India. The same night, we (here in Doha-Qatar) also went for Sehri Treat in a Pakistani restaurant named Punjab restaurant and witnessed an awesome atmosphere. Big screen was showing Pakistani channels presenting stats of final match and you could well hear commentary from each table. A large group of about 30-35 people were especially out there having party time. Giggles, itching here and there poking each other with some meaningful jokes enjoying Pakistan’s victory. Smiling for no reason! We could well see that people belonging to almost all provinces were present there united under the cause of cricket. This is a very special thing related with sport of cricket. It’s a rare sight seen after the Pakistan’s triumph of World T20 in 2009.

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Miraculous Phenomenon!

When our team started playing as a unit, you could easily see the unseen forces working in our favor. Rain rescued our weak batting lineup against South-Africa. Sarfaraz survived 2 dropped catches in a must win against Sri-Lanka where it was almost over for our team. Famous NO ball by Bumrah and Fakhar Zaman got a new life to post a maiden TON. Then Muhammad Hafeez’s stumps got in tact despite being hit by the ball. Allah (SWT) helped when team got united and put all their efforts for winning matches in holy month of Ramzan. And they were humble enough to recognize this unseen phenomenon thanking first Almighty Allah and then explaining all formal tactics and strategies behind their performances. What a sight it was for Pakistani fans and cricket lovers all over the world to see unpredictable team Pakistan, emerging from lowest ranking and shaking confidence of best teams of the world.

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Humble Boys!

A very unique aspect of this young Pakistani team is the simplicity and innocence displayed by players including the captain. No attitude, no arrogance! Short interesting videos started erupting from the very next day and still continuing. They respectfully entertained all the spectators greeting them at all places and were seen with their old friends. Captain came out of his home to gift his cricket shirt to a blind special child, we saw his simple wear and Ulti Topi. Sarfaraz kept on praising his boys wherever he went, that’s a sign of a true leader. Rumman Raees was spotted assisting common people on a street Iftari organized in some old area of Karachi. Hassan Ali celebrating with people of Gujranwala, land of Pehalwans now introduced as hometown of a hardworking fast bowler. Fakhar Zaman enjoying a causual full dressed Shalwar Qameez bath in a canal with his friends. Shadab Khan hugged by a random passionate fan at a petrol station and this boy respected elder person giving all due time to speak whatever he wanted to say. All of this is in itself a big delight to watch. Hoping that such attention and fame shall not get on to their minds and they do not get too much carried away. I wish they all remain the same even after gathering more success in future.

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Our Amir is Back!

A day before Final match, just randomly I was thinking who could be a match winner for Pakistan in this match. Muhammad Amir was the one name which came into my mind and I tweeted as:

And what an amazing day he had, picking up 3 big players of India. This effort and his excellent batting effort in the game against Sri-Lanka may well be regarded as his complete return to international cricket. He is one of lucky people who played crucial roles in Pakistan’s win in World T20, 2009 and Champions Trophy, 2017. Best wishes to Muhammad Amir from this point, may you have a long, clean and successful career for Pakistan.

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Amir, Junaid Khan, Hafeez, Babar Azam and others should also get attention of people and media for their efforts.

Merit, Merit & just Merit

After the first lost against India, it was an amazing turnaround for Pakistan team especially in the fielding department. The way all players were backing up each other and marshaled by Sarfaraz was just awesome. It was a rare sight for an ever suffering Pakistani supporter. Runs they stopped and amazing catches they took were exciting for spectators around the world. They played as a unit! You can not have this thing when there are issues within the team or when some villain is doing his own politics. Within 3 days gap to final, Amir Sohail’s viral statement shocked all of us. Whether we accept it or not, the useless Karachi-Lahore or Karachi-Punjab divide is often seen in Pakistan’s cricket.  But the good thing was that Ex-players like Wasim Akram & Basit Ali came to rescue our boys with their positive messages. The special thing in this Champions trophy is the overwhelming response from all corners. Whole Pakistan owned this team throughout series of events.

Good cricketing facilities should be provided all over the country and Deserving talented players to be given fair chance because if you do not give them chance, favoritism will doom everything because there is no replacement for merit. I would request that anything that happened in past should be buried and national team to be selected on merit and supported from all cricketers regardless of their belonging to any city or region. That’s the only way forward!

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Role of Pakistan Super League

To be honest, one should give due credit to all people who were involved in organizing Pakistan Super League (PSL) from which we got some exciting players. PSL franchise owners also seem to be passionate about the cause. Like Karachi Kings, other teams should also arrange Talent hunt camps within their regions and present talented players at PSL stage. I suggest few more teams like Hyderabad, Faisalabad & Sialkot etc should be added to PSL. A final topping to PSL; Cricket team named ‘Kashmir’ representing whole Kashmir valley must be added in PSL.

There is no doubt that India has played a big role in bringing our cricket down. We can also not forget how Pakistani players were humiliated during action in the initial versions of Indian Premier League (IPL). That later led to formation of PSL and now we got talented players who beat India in the Champions trophy final. I would strongly suggest, Pakistani cricketers should never be permitted from our side to play in IPL and we must strive to make PSL a world’s leading cricket league with innovations and Pakistani talent in action.

Future Steps

Winning the Champions trophy is not the end of achievements, it’s just a beginning. Lot of things needs to be fixed within our cricketing system. PCB should not be running under government ruling, it needs to be an autonomous body. Reforms should be made to Domestic structure, sponsors should be invited and attractive atmosphere to be created for public viewing. School and college cricket should be revived as a campaign enticing our young generation to spend more time on ground activities rather to be engaged to social media all the time. We always had a weak and vulnerable batting lineup. I am of a belief that it is due to lack of big play grounds, children play in streets and constrained environment with local rules of street cricket so batsmen cannot play their shots freely. Another reason is expansive kit for batsmen and majority of us are happy in bowling rather than exploring our batting skills. So, some serious measures need to be taken to produce quality batsmen with good techniques, power hitters in particular.

It was so romantic to see Pakistan team overcoming their fears and play like Tigers. I hope all of us are mature enough to capitalize on success from this point onwards. Thank you team Pakistan for giving us MOKA MOKA & providing unforgettable moments of joy…

Article No. 58

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https://www.pakpositive.com/pakistanibloggers/celebrating-champions-trophy-2017-in-qatar-t2206.html

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Pushups Controversy, please do not kill our Inner Child! #54

In this troubled world, there are fewer moments of joy left for public. Sports are always considered a healthy activity and teams dominating sports become source of lifting their people. After decline of many sports in Pakistan, cricket now remains as sole source of entertainment which is followed from all segments of our society. Dipped with premium performance; when our cricketers smile, we all smile with them. We have often seen our cricketers doing Sajda after achieving centuries,5 wickets hauls and victories. We all got electrified when Waqar Younis used to celebrate clean bowleds in his own roaring way. We all got that bird’s feeling while Shoaib Akhter celebrated his wickets spreading both arms like a bird. Shahid Afridi’s own style of standing with raised open arms became very popular all over the world.

 

When Misbah-ul-haq celebrated his ton in a unique style by saluting and doing pushups thereafter; we felt a strange delight. “Hey you all out there; look I am still young at the age of 42, I am not exhausted at 100 runs and I want much more” this was a first impression that many got until he further explained it later in the day.

 

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Misbah said that his hundred was dedicated to the instructors at an army boot camp in Abbottabad where his team spent two weeks training before flying to England.“That was my promise to the army guys when we did our training camp,” he said. “We used to have an honor code where we were told to step into the ground and do ten pushups. I promised them whenever I got hundred I would do that to remind them (Army) we were there. That was for them and the salute was for the (Pakistan) flag. That was what they asked us to do so I did it for them.”

 

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After winning the first test at Lords, whole Pakistani team got lined up in the ground and celebrated their victory with 5 pushups which was cheered all over the world. Captain further explained this at the post match press conference “They(our team) sent this small tribute to all those army men who were working really hard with us at the boot camp so it’s a good message and one thing that we learned from them; those army people they are not getting much salaries but for this flag, for Pakistani nation, for Pakistan they want to sacrifice their lives so that’s a big motivation for all of us and I think everybody is now putting effort for that flag and nation and really try give their 100% and try to win all the games”.

 

 

This further jubilated the nation who felt more proud and connected with armed forces who showed their metal turning over a losing squad into winning; very much evident from the social media posts/speech during that time. Lovely moments of team Pakistan doing celebratory pushups; everybody was so happy, emotions of nation just cannot be explained in words. I myself replayed those pushups many times to pump myself!

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Until last week when the National Assembly standing committee objected to press-ups performed by the Pakistan team players after victory and even asked ‘whom did the players were giving message with those push-ups.”
Rana Muhammad Afzal of the NA committee raised quite an unusual objection, saying players did push-ups after the triumph and remained silent after the defeat. “What’s actually the matter,” he asked.

Above statements raised anger among the public as these were such meaningless questions; Misbah had already explained the story behind all that. Social media trolled the government in their own style and we saw their mockery all over the place”
People reacted in many ways as:

 

Pakistani Democracy, So Insecure that 11 men doing #Pushups can “Lahaq Khatra” to it. What If They Start Doing This Again. #PakFaujZindabad

 

Nation is burning out because of terrorism, NAP is napping, NACTA is dead, corruption is legendary but #pushups banning is an urgent threat.

 

New danger to the Democracy #Pushups

 

Misbah bravely reacted and said players can still celebrate in whatever manner they want. “It was simple and there was no controversy in our minds,” he said. “It’s (up to) everyone’s discretion, but we know there is no negative thing in our minds.

 

Whether it was directly ordered from somewhere OR the minister tried to become ‘Shah se ziada Shah ka wafadar’ the whole episode just bring another chapter of disgrace to the government. Mr. Nawaz Sharif should keep a close check on such people. There are so lean chances of happiness left in our lives, why do you want to steal them too? Why are you so insecure? Doing #pushups does not mean anybody is trying to sack Jamhooriyat and bring dictatorship. We want to see them play and raise the flag, we want to dance with them; please do not kill our inner child, please!!!

I hope that team Pakistan will continue to win more, cheer up the grounds much more and such useless objections will do nothing but glorify the Green boys and their #pushups!

References: Quoted statements from various web links.

Article No.54
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