The love-hate relationship with the bipolar team Pakistan

Pakistan cricket team left the fans brimming with excitement and triumphant high after making an unexpected yet a remarkable comeback (in only a way as Pakistan could) to the world cup 2019 after a spectacular 14 runs victory against England, on Monday. With 11 consecutive losses (4 of them against the hosts and the opponents in the all crucial previous game), entering the world cup on the nethermost morale, being virtually brushed off from the competition, Trent Bridge witnessed a whole new team to emerge altogether! This very performance that they pull off is what keeps every opponent on their toes. You cannot predict anything with this team. You are never sure which team comes to the ground on a particular day. The one that faced a vexing defeat against WI in their opening world cup match where they scored the lowest total of the tournament, or, the one that smacks the highest total of the tournament (so far) against the number 1 ranked ODI team, on their home territory, plastered with a series defeat against them. Moreover, this happens in the consecutive matches that this team plays! Bipolar yeah? I can’t think of anything else for them because logic simply doesn’t work with this team. There is just no in-between for them. Pakistan team yet again lived up to their infamous title – ‘the unpredicatables’. Former South African opener, Herschelle Gibbs, termed the green shirts as “unpredictable side” after their game against England. Indian Tennis star, Sania Mirza took to twitter and praised Pakistan team and acknowledged their unpredictability. Nasser Hussain, Former England captain said,

‘You cannot write off Pakistan for this world cup’.

But was this the first time Pakistan pulled off such a stunt? Absolutely not! History tells us, there have been times when Pakistan entered the ICC tournament as underdogs and flipped the opponents with their mercurial comebacks. Case in point, ICC champions trophy 2017. Pakistan entered the tournament as a no.8 ranked ODI team then, losing the opening match to arch rivals, India, only to meet them in the final to clench the title like absolute beasts.

Cricket is more than a sport in our part of the world and such functioning of our team leaves us in a love-hate relationship with them. The results and performances affect all of us critically. One minute when they play the worst cricket, all of us pleat to cuss them like anything. We lose all our hopes in them. We simply write them off! And the very next minute, when the team pulls off a stunt like this, all the naysayers come to praise them. Just as the team’s performance is erratic, so is our support for them. Our support is subjected to the ball-to-ball variation in the game. It’s easy to support a winning team but equal or rather added support is required when the men in green are dejected after a loss. They are inconsistent in performing, yes, but so are we, in supporting them. (let’s introspect?)

Nasser Hussain, after the victory against England remarked,

“Many Pakistani fans will say they have followed their team for too long and had their hearts broken many times, but I love them, and I love their cricket,” he said to “I love them because they are mercurial Pakistan and you wonder which Pakistan will turn up on the day.”

What can we, as the followers, as the fanatics, have to learn from this? May be we need to be more consistent with our support for the team. Understand that cricket in its entirety is unpredictable. There are a lot of factors that determine a victory or a loss on a particular day, let’s take all of those in account before jumping right down to dishonouring criticism. Own our players. You can’t expect others to respect them when you don’t make an effort to stand by them through thick and thin.

We all share a love-hate relationship with our team but let’s be more generous in spreading more love and less hatred. Pakistan team is soaring high with confidence; let’s pray they keep up with our hopes and keep delivering magnificent cricket. For now, let’s rejoice in the wonderful Eid gift. Eid Mubarak to you all. Pakistan Zindabad.


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