Cricket, we miss you!

With the regular world order dismantled by the pandemic, there’s nothing but uncertainty, chaos and gloom all over. What keeps one going in the toughest times is the humor as is mentioned by Viktor R. Frankl, humor is the lifeline to sanity and survival.

Amidst everything, this pandemic has put a halt on sports as well. It is very overwhelming for a sport fanatic to live so many days without watching their favorite games, or players or analysis or gossip (after all, that’s what makes us Homo Sapiens).

I, like others, am in the same category and have been struggling to carry on the mundane life when there is no cricket to look forward to. No adrenaline gushing, no anticipation of the games to happen. I also miss the most engaging sessions on cricket analysis (and banter) with the like-minded cricket crowd. This little effort is essentially dedicated to all of you. I hope you have a good read.

What has this pandemic done to cricket fans, channels, commentators, players and stake holders?

With literally no sports happening, a sports fanatic and the players have lost any meaning to life. So much so that they are trying to find news in no news just to keep themselves talking about the sport they love, exhibit: “Do our cricketers know their namaz?” (Let’s religion shame them because obviously we all are “confirm jannati, of course”)

It all started off with postponing and then, cancellation of the ongoing mega cricketing events, including our beloved Pakistan Sports League (PSL) (the moment LQ qualified for the semis, you could sense that’s all alien stuff) and lo and behold, PSL playoffs called off much to the woes of cricket fans and players worldwide. Pakistan still dared to continue their matches (adopting distancing protocols, holding the event behind closed doors) while at the other end, news about IPL being postponed had already started pouring in. We had just kicked off celebrating our “victory” (blame our ancestors who have wrongfully taught us to derive pleasure on rival’s loss) just to fall victim to the same conclusion. PSL called off!

Now what? Everyone started getting creative (or losing their minds) and came up with strategies to keep functioning. ESPN Cricinfo thought of re-running all time classics in real time, on television and digital media. The fans being super desperate, actually played along and engaged themselves as if those were happening live. They started off with Pakistan’s classic victory of the ’92 CWC. And then, to no surprises, they conveniently started broadcasting all the matches, Pakistan had the worst of luck (see how I wrote luck and not cricketing abilities, because we are mercurial since forever). It was like the witch luring Jack & Jill luring to her wood house with the yummiest candies, only to eat the kids alive. But oh well, Pakistanis enjoyed that too, we like traps.

Quarantine, isolation, social distancing are the concepts against human nature and naturally, they are bound to take its toll on us. Just when all of us had forgotten what live cricket was, there comes the news of our favourite Umar Akmal being banned for 3 years. We had so much of the idle time that all of us embraced the news like a mother would passionately endorse even the most notorious child. We found something to talk on, something to discuss, we found LIFE! Our desperation of talking anything cricket stooped so low that we dedicated so many hours discussing UMAR AKMAL! Memes started pouring in, there were analysts, sports broadcasters, fans, all rejoicing at his aptly served sentence. For that, (I never thought I would ever say this but) Thank you Ukmal Amar.

Some cricketers found this time to lower their standards from none to 100ft. below the bull crap. The likes of S.Akhtar, coming in with all sorts of self-absorbed, narcissistic, rejoicing in short lived past glory, headlines. He has now offered his generous and the most skillful self to coach for a team in IPL. Along with him, we saw J.Miandad and Abdur Razzak blurting out some of the most hilarious content on their YT channels and social media (like them or not, they have kept us entertained).

Live sessions on the social platforms has become another trend. We were thoroughly entertained by the sessions by Kevin Pietersen. I would love to mention the hard-core cricket talks we got to hear in his sessions with Dale Steyn, Virat Kohli, Du Plessis but I’d rather continue the tone of this article. Ahmed Shehzad being owned by KP’s satire was probably one of the best laughter doses we had in this isolation life. Where we witnessed some cricketers sharing their work out routines, the others resorted to bizarre antics of staying in news. Exhibit; David warner and his brainless, needless, humorless TikTok videos (Moral: whatever you do, do not let TikTok infect you! Stay away, stay safe).

With everything gone virtual, PCB also resorted to conducting virtual fitness tests of their players. Can you imagine, the virtual test lead to one of our players getting injured! Maybe he suffered injury while attempting to login on Zoom! (Yea I know the real story, but we aren’t interested in that)

And then Ramadan comes. By this time, we have accepted the ill fate of not witnessing cricket. But hey, life surprises you in the ways you least expect, here comes, the kaptaan (ex), as the captain of one of the teams (not cricket) at the Jeeto Pakistan League (yea, this doesn’t even makes sense, but then what in the world does?). So we are graced by Sarfaraz’s daily on screen presence, and to our utmost helplessness, we will continue to watch him as a captain (not of the cricket team, of course) doing all sorts of bizarre activities, expected of him as per the narrative of the show .As if the bubblegum dance wasn’t enough, we are now subjected to this idiocy.

But can you do anything, other than just enjoying everything this quarantine madness is throwing at you? Yea I guess so, you can’t. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And a million more quotes to augment the narrative but you can google them alright. After all, internet is the best friend these days and we have ample of time.

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If you have time to watch 700 episodes of Ertugrul, you have time to read this article and drop feedback.

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