Revival of the green shirts

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Pakistan cricket team’s performance is not that bad though it needs a boost

 

Over the past few months in the world of cricket, Pakistani people began growing worrisome of the performance of their beloved team. The team had previously been on a disappointing streak which left many Pakistanis wondering: What happened?

However, the Pakistani team had in fact had a wonderful year. Several milestones were reached and streaks were in fact broken. Perhaps what was disappointing was Pakistan’s loss to South Asian rival Sri Lanka in 2012. We also cannot soon forget the shocking loss Pakistan suffered against a relatively less threatening team, Zimbabwe. The memorable greeting the team was given at the airport upon return from Zimbabwe said it all as hundreds of Pakistani fans booed the team away for their disgraceful loss against Zimbabwe in the final Test match by a margin of seven wickets.

Also several Pakistani fans were disappointed that the Pakistani cricket team lost one ODI and tied another in the series of matches played against the West Indies. But in fact Pakistani iconic player Shahid Afridi had broken not one, two or even three, but four records in cricket. These include becoming the only player in history to score fifty runs and take five wickets against eight different countries and becoming the only player in ODI history to take five wickets and score fifty runs three times. He became the only man in history who scored 7,000 runs and took 350 wickets. Out of these 7,000 runs over 4,500 were in boundary with 659 fours and a record breaking 311 sixes. He also displayed outstanding bowling with figures of 7/12, the second best ODI bowling of all time. These statistics will forever be in the history books and will have the Pakistani team’s name under it.

Past that lets take a look at the tour of India 2013. Most of Pakistani fans are quite serious about the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry. The T20 began with a victory for Pakistan by a margin of 5 wickets. The second T20, however, was won by India by only 11 runs. This draw sent the fans into an upsetting phase once more. Pakistan managed to win the series however, making it Pakistan’s first win over India in an ODI series since 2005.

Perhaps the greatest redemption achieved in the year, however, was in the victory against South Africa most recently. Earlier in the year, from 1 February to the 24th of March, Pakistan lost both the Test series and the ODI matches. Some memorable moments during this tour were perhaps the Test debuts of Pakistani players Nasir Jamshed, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil and the Pakistani giant Muhammad Irfan. In the 2013-2014 tour however the shoe was on the other foot as the Pakistani team came out victorious in the Test series. Not only that but by winning the series over the Best Test Team in the world, they managed to end the 15 Test match winning streak that South Africa had developed. This was perhaps one of the greatest victories in Pakistani cricket history.

After this series we can say with utmost confidence that the green shirts have some fight left in them. The team, though, is not without its faults, both in not being able to perform consistently and in team players’ bonding with each other, as was visible in the way Shahid Afridi called for a review which the captain was certainly not in favour of, and rightly so. Other than that, no cricket on home grounds for some years means there is visibly less support for team when they play on the hosting team’s grounds or when they play on a neutral ground. That sloganeering, cheering and noise raised in support of one’s team does play an important part in raising team’s spirit. The Pakistan Cricket Board also needs to appoint more professional and senior cricketers as selectors, as has been pointed out by one of the best players of the world, Muhammad Yousuf. However, we all hope to see more of such success from our great team soon.

Shahid Afridi

4 COMMENTS

  1. When capable experienced and highly respected people like Arif Abbasi and Majid Khan are given the charge of Pakistan Cricket the state of the game will change for the better. Let us hope our Prime Minister (the Mughal e Azam) will recognise the fact soon.

  2. THE COLUMNIST IS TALKING OF INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS IGNORING THAT THIS A TEAM GAME. Suddenly such columns crop up contrary to general feelings of the masses. I do not know they are paid by PCB or they are genuine. No sensible person would agree with this columnist.

  3. Pakistani team lacks the talent required to consistently win the matches. Occassionally, it will win some matches here and there, primarily due to complacency of other teams and the law of averages. Apart from couple of good bowlers, Pakistan has no champion batsman….fielding is sub standards as well. Blaming it on PCB or selection are lame excuses..Afridi is well past his prime..

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