Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Day After

I had hoped to put up this image which one of our Twitter friends (don't remember which one) had pointed us to, after a Pakistan win in yesterday's semi-final. But I think it's more appropriate than ever now. (Incidentally, I do not know who made it but if the designer is reading this and would like credit, let us know and we will credit you.)

Afridi: The Renaissance Man (Design: Komail Naqvi)

So, yes, India played far better than us on the day and deserved to win the match. But as, thankfully, most people in Pakistan have recalled, nobody, including myself, gave the Pakistan team much chance of even getting this far before the World Cup began. And for this, Shahid Afridi, the captain, and the team deserves our respect. Generally, despite the one major blip against New Zealand (for which we'll forever be grateful to Kamran Akmal), Pakistan played far beyond expectations and seemed, after a long, long, time, to be a united team.

Of course, it hurts to lose, especially to arch-rivals India, and especially after seemingly having the game within our grasp, but there is no shame. Okay, there should be shame about dropping a batsman like Tendulkar four bloody times, but you know what I mean. Afridi made good on his pre-World Cup promise of reaching at least the semis and for this we should celebrate and give the team its due. It's actually very heartening to see that most people, including the media, have taken the defeat in the spirit in which it should be taken. There should be introspection within the team (particularly about Kamran Akmal's future) but for once, hopefully, we will be able to use this a springboard for improvements for the future rather than nihilistic destruction.

I don't want to get into the details of the cricketing issues that surfaced in this match (others have already done so in fair detail) but I did have a couple of other thoughts about non-cricketing issues after the match which I would like to share.

1. Can we, like, get a list of all those astrologers, psychics, numerologists and "astropalmists" who predicted a Pakistan victory? You know, just so we know who to avoid? And at the very least, can the media stop referring to them before any big event? (Geo, to its credit, did take the lead on this, running a mocking package about them, including its own resident astrologist known as 'Mamoon', this morning.)

2. I don't wish to sound cruel (and animal-lovers please note, this is merely in jest) but as far as that unproven story about the Shiv Sena / predictions-vendor allegedly killing the parrot who predicted a Pakistan victory in Bombay, wouldn't you say they were sort of right in retiring the parrot? I mean I would never support the killing of any poor animal for such indiscretions but the parrot had obviously lost it. Moreover, the parrot in Karachi who also predicted a Pakistan victory, can you blame him/her after s/he'd heard about what supposedly happened in Bombay?

3. I hope it puts to rest all those tawdry (and frankly done one too many times) jokes about the jawaan Sheila, the badnaam Munni and the Pathan Afridi. Really. Please stop now.

4. If any credible story comes out about someone actually having bet on Tendulkar being dropped more than three times, I will personally ask Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to take suo moto notice. Beyond that, let's please not bring in claims of match-fixing this time. One team had to lose.

5. The one definite and huge down-side to the loss is of course seeing the idiotic brigade - Ansar Abbasi et al - back in business. (Even in supposed empathy with Afridi, he must bring up Raymond Davis.) It was good while it lasted but as they say on Twitter, FML!

6. Finally, to all those 'cricket-liberals' scaring us about the potential for doom and gloom because of the fervour around the match, I hope you realize the world did not end, no nuclear missiles were launched, and amazingly there was even no bad blood on the field. You know why? Because most people do take it as a game even if they are jumping up and down, putting war-paint on their faces and mocking their sporting rivals.

Good luck to both India and Sri Lanka for the final!

: : : UPDATE : : :

Actually there was one more thing I thought about which I forgot to put down: Where is Poonam Panday?


karachikhatmal said...

well said.

i've been really glad that there are a new group, or a new generation of people who have been initiated into this horrible masochistic love affair with the pakistani team. everytime you attempt to forsake them for their bevafai, every time they seduce you again. and then when you give yourself in comepletely they break your hearts. and you know that you'll be there again next time, watching till even the mathematical possibilities for victory have been exhausted.

PS i know that a lot of us feel that this was not as bad as 96, 99 or 03. but seriously, the new media avenues meant the hype was at an unprecedented scale. the trauma from such expectations must be quite intense.

Shaista said...

Well written! The one positive aspect of the match was the surge of patriotism that swept all the matter which strata of society they belonged to! If only everyone holds on to this, even in the absence of any india-pakistan match.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...


Ayesha said...

Match against India matters to me because of an extra pressure it puts on the both sides. I think one can't rid off this aspect of an Indo-Pak match ever. Again, it wasn't just a match against India. It was a semi-final of the WC. A do or die situation so all these factors got together.

Otherwise, as you said, it is just a game, not a war and eventually we all will move on.

Generally, I'm glad about Afridi's captaincy and team performance (certain changes will improve us a lot)

Lastly, thanks for giving us company on Twitter. It helps a lot when one shares happiness/anxiety and sorrows with (Pakistani) Cricket fans from all across the globe.

Anupam said...

My R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to this young Pakistani generation. I have always felt that while it's nice that we want our respective teams to win, a loss at the other's hands should not mean the end of the world, etc. And especially giving up on, cursing, insinuating your team.

Samina said...

Thank you for this, XYZ. I've been teary-eyed all day not because the team lost -- well, also that -- but I truly empathise with Afridi as a captain and the team on the whole. And it's just so heart-warming to see that those screaming foul play are oh-so-far and few between this time. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to Lala.

Anonymous said...

What about all the Pakistanis "praying" to Allah to defeat the Indian Kafirs? Not only was it extremely annoying but it's also illogical and somewhat offensive to non-Muslims.

If Pakistanis had won we would be praising Allah and how our prayers were answered, but since we lost...

Cricket has no religion.

observer said...


Sanity prevails, Thank you.
Kudos to the Pakistani bowlers. It takes special talent,skills and application to dismiss Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvaraj the way you guys did. Even the little master could not master Pakistani bowlers.
Pressure undid an inexperienced young team robbed of three of its best players.
Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

1) Total agreement with everything XYZ wrote.

2) KarachiKhatmal is spot-on when he says that the trauma of Mohali in the new generation is going to be equivalent that which we felt in Bangalore. My 10 year old nephew is a die-hard fan and flew to Colombo with me to watch the Aus game. Everyone had built enormous hype around the team's success - and then we lost. Needless to say he's pretty shattered.

Now, I still haven't gotten over Bangalore. I definitely haven't gotten over Lords 1999. I'm pretty sure Mohali is going to be his Bangalore for years to come.

Ahsan said...

I have great respect for some of my fellow commenters here, but anyone putting Mohali and Bangalore/Lords in the same sentence is quite mad. Hell, Sydney and St Lucia hurt more than yesterday.

Arbab said...

Hi, I am an Indian and a big fan of Afridi...I thought u guys played pretty well and could have easily won if u would have kept ur nerves during the runchase...what i wanted to say here is that i was really shocked at all the 'terrorists' jokes doing the rounds on twitter after the match...and now they have turned to 'ravan' jokes...clearly success in cricket is getting into our heads... i wish we lose in the finals...atleast it will help us in retaining our humility

P.S. : Afridi was so magnanimous in the post match presentation. RESPECT!!

Mehreen said...

Very well written. Although I had tears in my eyes yesterday after Pakistan lost but still at the end of the day thinking logically I just thought of it as a game. And I am proud of my nation who take it as a game too. India played well and deserved to win. But our team gave their best and it was the most exciting game to watch ever. I was nail biting my way through.
Even If we lost I still fully support our team and the unity it brought to our country. No worries afridi u r the best and u brought back our trust in the cricket game.

Anonymous said...

Hoping India wins.

Anonymous said...

Sami Shah is our Poonam Panday...

NarayaN said...

From the article on the link "The Holy Quran is desecrated and we remain unmoved and a small number of people come out in the streets to lodge their protest."
That is INCITEMENT to violence. The writer indicates that more people should be out on the streets of Pakistan for some event that occurred in Florida. How will a protest in Pakistan that impacts the public life of Pakistani Citizens have any relevance to a Florida Pastor - and why is the author inciting sane individuals to behave like Pastor Terry Jones (that animal on the loose)? Is he not happy with Pakistanis being sane & minding their own business - does he want Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to strike terror into the hearts of the unbelievers?
The writer talks about *spending on security of the ruling elite* - what security is he talking about? What about those 2 leaders that were murdered - one by his own security guard?
People *seriously* need to delink religion from public life & put it under the restraints of private life. All Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques, Churches, Synagogues must be instructed to allow the faithful to keep the religion within the confines of the building. No loud speakers, no mass marches, no bloody disruption of other members of the society.

Ullta Seedha said...

Ah, my dear, good XYZ. Are you the same guy/gal who in the previous post was hurling rants and mockings against 'cricket liberals' for being weepy wimps?

Yes you were. And ironically, here you are sounding like one, if not worse.

Get a grip. We fucked it up! Enough of this oh, but we never even expected to reach the semis even, bullshit, man.

Ask the right questions. No apologias please. After all, we weren't, ahem, cricket liberals.

Anonymous said...

Ghairat bridage is still licking it's wounds from the Indian defeat. Awww.

Anonymous said...

It is hollow patriotism to base national pride on a meaningless game. If you won would it have made up for the assassinations of Taseer and Bhatti, or the overwhelming national support for their killers? Or the fact that your country is irretrievably on its way to the depths of Somalia-hood? Does North Korea get any global respect if it wins in soccer?

Why not expend a fraction of this misplaced sense of patriotism on a gulab revolution aimed at your true rulers who have dragged your country down to failed state status, your incompetent, messed-up military? You all know as well as anybody that all the cricket meetings between Yousaf Gilani and Manmohan Singh don't matter a squat so long as Gen. Kayani is conniving away in Rawalpindi. We have seen this movie before; Vajpayee in Lahore as Musharraf hatched the Kargil attacks.

Nabeel said...

Completely agree with Ahsan here - can't relate to Bangalore 96,but Lord's 99 is so not comparable to Mohali '11. THAT was traumatic. This? We just got outplayed. Sydney and St. Lucia, and even the T20 final in 2007,were traumatic. I'll never forget how my heart sunk when Misbah was caught. Which, by the way, idiots accusing Misbah of intentionally throwing away the match should remember. Defeating Australia has meant more for this Pakistani side than India. The Test win at Headingley and the Premadasa win a few weeks ago were important precisely because they helped erase some of that pain.

Dr.Sarmad said...

Nice article, though I must mention that on 29th March, a famous Psychic/Tarrot card reader, Maryam Aftab appeared on Luqmans programme and correctly predicted that Pakistan would lose the toss, her facial expressions were not very positive when she stated that "pakistan ke liye kafi khatraat nazar a rahe hain", but in the end, to avoid any backlash from the enlightened Pakistani society, she politically concluded that prayers can answer any thing and strongly recommended people to pray throughout. I think her initial facial expressions clearly suggested that Pakistan would lose. Though I myself dont believe in this stuff, but I have heard from many people that her predictions are generally quite correct. I saw the proof as well.

Shahid Saeed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sabahat24 said...

What sensible 'cricket liberals' were saying was that whipping up emotions to this degree can not be a good thing in general. And it wasn't. Your own post but even more so the comments are testimony to that. So many people admitting to the fact that they cried, are depressed, that kids were traumatized. Hardly sounds like a good thing to cricketing liberal ole me. My son looked horribly depressed by the end of it, cried himself to sleep. To say that cricketing liberals were saying this would launch a nuclear war is to parody their standpoint rather than correcting it.

Karachikhatmal is so eloquent he could sell ice to eskimos. He somehow suggests in his impeccably lucid way (and i am a genuine admirer of the way his writing flows) that masochism is a good thing? Oh well.

And guess what all your argument in this post amounts to? It can be summed up in ONE sentence


That is what cricketing liberals were trying to say all along, not only after the match has been lost.

Sabahat24 said...

You may have read it and you may not care but this is THE best piece regarding India-Pakistan matches.

"It was sport only in the sense that cock-fighting or bull-baiting or the Roman circus were sporting contests: it was blood sport without the blood, and it was sustained by an excitement born of desperation and fear and loathing."

R. Satin said...

Good analysis, and some great comments.
All the "extreme (pathological) happiness and sadness" has nothing to do with cricket, or the match. The only way to avoid such exhausting emotional outbursts is to play often.

s. said...

heres a screenshot. status was later deleted but a friend saw it on his profile before it was deleted so its not a fake image.

and there's also a Mubashir Luqman video.

Did anyone else come across this. Do not like Mubahsir Luqman at all.

TLW said...

XYZ, great post; Karachikhatmal and Kalakawa, beautiful points. And a credit to KK-1 for part of this rant.
And Ahsan, bhai, some of us remember Bangalore as less than preteens; so yes we are mad.

Yaar, Sabahat; as a kid I couldn't care less about cricket unless it was played at the World Cup level, but since its so linked with our national identity, I believe its important.

That argument and a whole worse more I would give to Anon Chootia 11:37. Gulab revolution? Kargil and Somalia-hood? Wow. That sort of callousness can only be gotten by a hardbitten right wing anti-politician Pakistani. Or some Uber nationalist Indian who doesn't give a tinkers damn about going out to vote. All I can sincerely say, if all you have is abuse for passionate cricketing fans nursng their sorrow over this game:

I am sorry your mother never loved you when you were a child.

Miss Hanif said...

nice post well-written!

Anonymous said...

Here is my final analysis:

"Match Fixing" is a convinient bogeyman for all losses....the loss was because India, fielded, batted and bowled better than Pakistan....No IFs and BUTs.

Misbah kept one end occupied while his partners: Younis Khan, Shahid Afrid, Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal lost their wickets to poor shots.

The star bowler, Umar Gul, failed to generate his magic swing at the crucial time, there were 4 dropped catches of a batsman that scored 65+ more runs because of extra chances.

The good things for Pakistan:
They held India to a run total of less than 300
They found a new opening batsman.
They bowled out the India's highest run scorer on the first ball.
They found a young replacement for Inzi... Asad Shafiq
They have a young Shoaib Akhter...Wahab Riaz
They prevented ST from making his 100th ODI century
Made it to semis by beating: Austrailia, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Came within 29 runs of beating a very very good Indian team.

Anand said...


"on 29th March, a famous Psychic/Tarrot card reader, Maryam Aftab appeared on Luqmans programme and correctly predicted that Pakistan would lose the toss,"

She got it right on a coin-toss. Whoop dee doo!

"her facial expressions were not very positive when she stated that "pakistan ke liye kafi khatraat nazar a rahe hain","

Considering Pakistan's previous performances in the WC vs India, that's not a surprising statement to make.

Just so you know, Indian fans were cynical too.

"but in the end, to avoid any backlash from the enlightened Pakistani society, she politically concluded that prayers can answer any thing and strongly recommended people to pray throughout."

Prayers don't work.

"I think her initial facial expressions clearly suggested that Pakistan would lose."

Again...doesn't indicate anything besides cynicism.

"...I have heard from many people that her predictions are generally quite correct. I saw the proof as well."

Define "GENERALLY" and "QUITE." Those terms have absolutely no place in a SCIENTIFIC assessment of evidence or proof of a phenomenon. Sorry, but you just saw proof of more bullshit being pervaded by yet another hack in a long line of hacks.

Anonymous said...

This obsession with Islam must end.

The problem with the Pakistan team is that it is the Muslim team of Pakistan. It has no bhais, Hindus and what Christians there was he was forced to convert.

If a member of the team was an atheist what was he suppose to do when everyone chooses to pray together.

We must separate religion and state,also religion and sport. India won because they have an inclusive team including a quota. The have a roman catholic head of the largest political part dancing on the street to celebrate a victory

as one sms form an indian friend put it

"Only in INDIA will u see the entire team dedicate their victory n contribution to one player (sachin) only in INDIA will u see the players lift their South African Coach n honor him for their victory! Only in INDIa will u see a Pathan lift tendulkar to honor him n respect his dedication to cricket! No race, creed, color, caste will ever separate our unity n integrity, WE ARE INDIANS AND WE ARE ONE!!"

Anonymous said...

Guru nanak vs nanak won