Original Articles

Enjoy the match guys – by Bahadar Ali Khan

March 30th, the day when sub-continent is scheduled to stand still on the eve of the clash of Cricket Titans e.g.; India and Pakistan. Naturally the emotions of Cricket fans across the divide are spouting to the new highs. And rightly so, even a minor Indo-Pak cricket trifle creates a sizable sensation in both countries but this time the event is the most prestigious in the cricketing world, not an ordinary pool match and on top of it being played within hundred miles from the border of Pakistan.

The Internet forums have already flared up and heated discussions dominating the entire subcontinental cyber-space. ‘Team India’ and “Boom Boom Afridi eleven’ has charged follower-ship. Both teams must be under going immense pressure because of the huge expectation of their respective people. But what to do, unfortunately, there will be a result and one has to win and other has to lose. But-the fans- they are not willing to accept the defeat. This is tough!

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh has invited the Pakistani head of states to watch the match. Diplomatic circles are suggesting it as a cricket-diplomacy venture. This must be an auspicious event to expect a thaw in the frozen relationships of both countries after the events of 26/11, the Mumbai attacks of 2008. Thanks to cricket, at least we would see a summit meeting, which is a good omen to the 1.2 billion people of India and Pakistan who have become hostage to the activities of the non-state actors and also the knee-jerk nature of relationship. Thanks cricket!

On the event of attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore, I submitted that it was a time for requiem over Pakistan cricket for long time to come. No foreign team visited Pakistan since then on Pakistani land because of well found security concerns. I was intentionally trying to avoid the usage of political sausage but hard to put it aside. There has lot happened recently in Pakistan and our media sang in chorus the choir of pride, ego and sovereignty repeatedly. Fair enough, the nations have their prides, but pride without substance is tantamount to humiliation and embarrassment. Don’t we see that around our borders the whole world has converged to pay homage to the game of cricket and even some smaller countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also the proud sponsors of this majestic cricket gala but our ‘proud’ nation has failed even to bring some of its matches on its own soil, what a shame!

sharam tum ko magar naheen aati (Ghalib)

Sorry, politics just induces itself always, despite the restraint. On a more brighter note, the PM of Pakistan has agreed to visit India to see the match. Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi would also be there to cheer her team. At the same time the chief minister of Punjab has announced that government is going to allot one murabba of fertile agricultural land ( around 12.5 acres ) to each player of the Pakistan team, if they beat India in the Semi Final. Well this may be a better pre-emptive move to ward off the bookies phenomenon which has already consumed some wonderful talented Pakistani cricketers last year.

Back to the game, despite my love for Pakistan cricket team, Indian seem more favorite for this game because of their deep batting line up and the kind of game they displayed against Australia. However, the momentum Pakistan team has achieved in the last two games cannot be simply over-looked. Pakistan batting is key to this match. Historically Indians are not good chaser of the target, but Pakistan

has to do extremely well and target of 290+ can guarantee them a spot in the finals but only if they show the same game as they have shown against West Indians then I am sure they can take on the East Indians too. Yuvraj Singh displayed some fine batting performance against Australia but there was no hurry for him as plenty of over were yet there and he just had to save his wicket and play the loose ball,

which he did perfectly well. But the problem lies with the squeezed-in scenario where if one has to manage an average of 6+ per over and save wicket too. No matter what is the out come of this game might be, but at the end it would be a win of game of cricket which has brought close the public of both countries.

As I was browsing the net, I came across an interesting menu made by a charged Indian cricket fan. Please see for yourself what kind of taste he is offering to his team. Personally I don’t agree with him.

Indian Tigers Menu for 30th March

Afridi Kabab

Shoaib Soup

Kamran Salad

Umar Makhini

Younis Biryani

Gul Raita

Misbah Nan

Ajmal Fry

Razzaq Papad

Hafeez Ka Halwa….

The Great Pakistani thali specially for The Indian Tigers… (Pakistani ko pakaa ke kha jayenge)

Note: This example was picked to depict the deep level of emotions running among the fans. There were a lot more which couldn’t be quoted ( from both sides ) but this one was interesting. Finally I wish well to both the teams and like anybody else eagerly waiting for the match.

Tailpiece

…there is another way of looking at India and Pakistan. No two cricket nations have so much in common. There is the language and culture. Food. A shared passion for films and music. So much so that when an Indian or Pakistani lands either in Delhi or Lahore it feels just like home. And Indian and Pakistani cricketers are friendlier with one another than they are with players from any other country. It’s a natural kinship shared among them, perhaps reinforced by the empathy. Look at this photograph of the two captains: it’s hard to picture any other pair of captains presenting a picture of such natural warmth and comradeship. (Source)

Shahid Afridi and MS Dhoni are all smiles ahead of their semi-final clash, Mohali, March 29, 2011

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Taimoor Kashmiri

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  • Only a match in Mohali
    Sambit Bal

    March 29, 2011

    Reveling in victory is the easiest thing, but grace in defeat is easily the highest of virtues © Getty Images

    Fresh from his match-winning performance against Australia in the quarterfinal, Yuvraj Singh inevitably found himself confronted with questions about the semi-final against Pakistan. “No point saying it will be a normal match,” Yuvraj said. “You all expect us to win, the whole country expects us to win. We are doing the best we can, and leaving the rest to God.”

    It’s impossible not to feel for the players, all 22 of them. It is no point pretending that this is just another match. It is the semi-final of the World Cup. And it’s between India and Pakistan. Between them, there has been Partition. Three wars. Suspicion. Animosity. Kashmir. Also diplomacy. Politics. Attempted reconciliation. Cricket can never expect to fully free itself of the web of history. And it is a huge and unfair burden that the cricketers carry. It is their reality.

    But there is another way of looking at India and Pakistan. No two cricket nations have so much in common. There is the language and culture. Food. A shared passion for films and music. So much so that when an Indian or Pakistani lands either in Delhi or Lahore it feels just like home. And Indian and Pakistani cricketers are friendlier with one another than they are with players from any other country. It’s a natural kinship shared among them, perhaps reinforced by the empathy. Look at this photograph of the two captains: it’s hard to picture any other pair of captains presenting a picture of such natural warmth and comradeship.

    I remember a conversation I had with Younis Khan, then captain of Pakistan, a couple of days after his team had beaten India in a Champions Trophy match in Pretoria in 2009. Younis spoke of chiding a couple of Indian television journalists who’d been chasing him for a quote that would damn MS Dhoni. “Why are you after Dhoni,” he asked them. “Winning and losing, it keeps happening. Today it is his turn, tomorrow it could be mine.”

    Younis wasn’t being prescient, just real. A couple of days later he found himself before the firing squad, answering questions about match-fixing after dropping a simple catch off Grant Elliot in the semi-final against New Zealand. Elliot went on to play a match-winning innings. Younis was playing with a broken finger. “A few days ago I took a catch and effected a run-out, and I was praised for playing with a broken finger,” he said. Some questioned his wisdom of playing with an injury, but had he pulled out, he would surely been accused of abdicating his responsibility to the country.

    Sport is inextricably linked to national identity. Which isn’t a bad thing by itself, because sport for the most part is a feel-good, positive force. It makes fans appreciate skills and beauty, the thrill of competition, and overcoming odds. But being a sports fan is as much about joy as it is about pain. It’s part of the deal. For every winner, there must be a loser. In fact victory would never feel so thrilling without the experience of loss.

    All sports, wrote Simon Barnes in The Meaning of Sport, “represent the collision of wills: people or teams who want the same thing and have to cause somebody pain in order to get it.” It is easy, if you so choose, to find in this a metaphor for warfare but the beauty of sports is that people rarely die playing it. Sportsmen compete fiercely and proudly, exhausting themselves mentally and physically in the pursuit of victory, and then the victor and vanquished walk off the field with a shake of hand and often with the knowledge that no victory or loss is final. They will compete again tomorrow and there will be another shot at redemption. That is the essence of sport.

    Partisanship is fundamental to fandom. It is the bedrock of sport. Without it sport would be reduced to a mere spectacle, devoid of its emotional core. By the same token, triumphalism is its biggest bane. Allied with nationalism, it presents the ugly face of sport. It blinds fans to the very spirit of competition between athletes.

    Twenty-two cricketers will subject their skills and temperament to the toughest of tests tomorrow. Equally, the fans in both the nations will be on trial too.

    Very few expected Pakistan to travel so far so smoothly in this World Cup. Only a month ago, their team lay in tatters following the spot-fixing verdict. Irrespective of what happens at Mohali, their performance in the World Cup is worthy of celebration.

    Indian fans never forget to remind the world that their team has not lost to Pakistan in a World Cup match. That is an impressive record. But it’s not a run that can last forever. Nothing in life is permanent.

    Fans should feel grateful the tournament has produced a semi-final that feels like a final. It is also appropriate that the match is taking place in Punjab. Mohali is a small town lacking the facilities and space for such a high-profile match but there couldn’t have been a more perfect place, geographically and culturally, for a World Cup match between these two rivals.

    Punjabiyat is the biggest common theme between these nations, and the spirit of hospitality is the defining characteristic of the Punjabi culture on both sides of the border. It has become a cliché now, but traveling to Pakistan during India’s landmark tour of 2004 provided me with some of the most moving and uplifting experiences of my life. It was, and will remain, one of the greatest examples of how sport, and in the subcontinent it can only be cricket, can be a beacon for goodwill and fellow feeling.

    And after the fans have spent themselves in cheering their teams, irrespective of the result, they will do well to evoke the spirit of Chennai in 1999 or Karachi in 2004. After their teams had lost emotionally draining encounters, the fans rose to make their sport, and nations, proud.

    On the field tomorrow there is the opportunity for one team to take the penultimate step towards cricket’s biggest prize. For Pakistan, for all its troubles inside and outside the game, a World Cup win will be the tonic that the nation needs. For Indians, above everything else, it will be the perfect gift for their most-adored sport hero. But a bigger opportunity lies beyond the boundary. To revel in victory is the greatest of reward for the sports fan, but nothing dignifies the sport more than grace in defeat.

    Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/content/story/508574.html

  • India v Pakistan: Cricket relegated to a distraction during frenzied build-up to semi-final
    The Indian-Pakistan border is 150 miles to the west of Mohali, where the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan takes place, but it may as well have been transplanted here for all the nationalistic posturing that has accompanied this match

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/cricket-world-cup/8414108/India-v-Pakistan-Cricket-relegated-to-a-distraction-during-frenzied-build-up-to-semi-final.html

  • Indo-Pak cricket frenzy in cyberspace, Paul,the Octopus missed
    New Delhi, March 25 (PTI)

    The frenzy over a heady World Cup semi-final clash between arch rivals India and Pakistan next Wednesday has entered cyberspace with cricket fans calling it the ”mother of all matches” and one enthusiast wishing Paul, the octopus, was around.

    One website has even asked the supporters of the two cricket teams to start a “sms war.”

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/148720/indo-pak-cricket-frenzy-cyberspace.html

  • i like pak team but i love india team and one more thing with out karnataka players indian team i dont like i love my karnataka and karnataka playars