Match Mubarak, India. Thank You, Pakistan.

Posted on March 31, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Sports
93 Comments
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Adil Najam

How do I feel today with Pakistan having lost to India in the Semi-Final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup?

I feel exactly as I did on November 4, 1987. I was at the Ghaddafi Stadium in Lahore, as a sports reporter for the newspaper The Muslim, covering the Semi-Final match between Pakistan and Australia in the 1987 World Cup. Pakistan was the clear favorites. Pakistan lost.

How did that feel? Pretty much as today feels. It felt like this:

But as a reader wrote on my earlier post, I am sad, but not angry. Nor am I ashamed or dejected. In an odd sort of way, I am fulfilled. We tried our best.

Today was not our best day; but frankly it was not our worst day either. There have been many days in recent weeks and months when I was ashamed of what was being done in my name. Today was not one of those days. Today, I took many blows, but I stand tall. Today, I wait for tomorrow. Because, tomorrow is another day.

Congratulations, Team India on a well-earned victory.

Thank you, Team Pakistan, for a month full of thrills and chills and making us come together as a country again. Your fielding was rather pathetic, but you have made us proud nonetheless!

93 responses to “Match Mubarak, India. Thank You, Pakistan.”

  1. Meengla says:

    I will say a few final words in this connection:
    I think now I regret having brought up Afridi’s interview. It is one thing for me to observe here about the treatment Pakistani team got in India. But Afridi’s stature is different and he did win quite a few hearts after this post-match interview in India. But his interview upon arrival in Pakistan serves nothing except generate more ill-will, however ‘right’ he may have been.

    Anyway, attitudes can change over time. Time is the best healer, as they say. Let’s hope for the best.

    Congrats to India, again. They certainly played better and deserved the Cup.

  2. Meengla says:

    @Sridhar,
    I too can get back to the days of pre 2000’s. Indeed, crowds in both countries have behaved shamelessly. Perhaps the attitudes in Pakistan toward India has changed for the better since then while something of opposite has been happening in India toward Pakistan starting sometime in 2000’s.
    I am posting an article by Pakistani journalist Talat Hussein about the recent India-Pakistan encounters during the world cup. It does not make a heartening reading for peace in the Sub-continent. Talat is not forgiving of Pakistani nation/team either, btw.
    I really think that the Indians crossed some lines of decency during the final world cup when it came to Pakistan. This was uncouth, un-called for, and most unfortunate.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/04/on-the-debris-of-de feat.html
    —————————————

    “The run-up to the match showed the reality of the much-hyped Indian desire for peace with Pakistan. Here was a great opportunity for the Indian media to win the hearts and minds of friends from Pakistan by showing grace and courtesy. But what was served was nothing less than national-level sledging, lasting for days.

    The host nation took special care of the Pakistani squad. Large sections of the media tore into the Pakistani team and its captain as if this was an invading army from another world. In the name of debate, targeted frenzy was worked up against the green-shirts.

    Matters became particularly uncivilised as the semi-final approached. The campaign was nothing short of a psychological warfare zeroing in on Pakistan. With the use of selective data and controversial instances, derision was freely heaped on the team. Kapil Dev talked about ‘how little Pakistanis have to cheer about’. Ravi Shastri, who loses his reason when the Indian team gets even a slight drubbing, compared the visitors with a rickety rickshaw, while the Indian squad, in his opinion, was a BMW.

    On local channels the attack was particularly poisonous. In several shows, where Indian film stars and music divas rooted for their team before large audiences, ridiculing Pakistan was the norm.”

  3. SAM says:

    Why not to focus on what Afridi has said in an interview that why we always tend to hate India that even we follow them very commonly in every walk of life.Indians always ride about Pakistan and so what if our captain has said those things,and if that in any ways is being considered so uncivilized’ so are we Pakistani only be alone be liable/responsible for those things which are barely noticeable.O k there are civilized and mature ways to express your discontent but did he say anything wrong.i think he doesn’t blown anything out of his proportion,its for the people who are world apart from us should realize that what things should be discussed and whine upon and what should be not.

  4. Sridhar says:

    Also, my reference to Chennai was to point to it as an exception. Most venues are partison, and why not. As long as they are respectful and do not indulge in bad behavior, passion for the home team is fine.

    As to Pakistan welcoming others, it was great to see that in 2004. But using your logic, one could point to the Indian tour of Pakistan in 1989. Far from being welcomed, the tour had the ignominy of an Indian team being stoned (in the Karachi ODI game of Dec 20, 1989 when Pakistan lost 3 quick wickets). The match was called off when the trouble did not subside and a section of the crowd set fire to the stands. The next day, the game was again played, and the Indian captain (Srikkanth) was assaulted by the crowd and his shirt torn off. Similarly, there was serious crowd trouble in a 1997 game in Karachi, with the teams being forced to leave the grounds for a couple of hours.

    Going down this route is pointless (unless your purpose is to score points). The game has changed, and in my view, so has the crowd and its management. For the most part anyway.

  5. Truth Seeker says:

    Will Mr Afridi please graciously reject his next IPL invitation now that he has seen how “small-hearted” India is as compared to his own “big heart” :)

    When they see big dollars in IPL, all media and public hostility seems to be garden of Eden :).. and after losing a pressure cooker semi final match with intense crowd and media scrutiny, they start cribbing about “small-heartedness of Indians” :). How very amusing :).

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