The magical powers of a Pakistani fan

Published: March 12, 2016
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let us all get out our Pakistan t-shirts, put aside our grudges and support the men in green! We don’t know if they will win the cup or not, however, without our support they will most certainly lose. PHOTO: TWITTER

Where is all the hysteria, the passion, the flair that once filled every Pakistani’s heart, and house, as soon as news was released of the national cricket team travelling for a major cricket series, like the ICC World T20? Since when have we started supporting our team based on their logical chances of winning?

We have never won a tournament when we enter as the favourites and yet we won in 1992, and then again in 2009 when we were least expected to. We are unpredictable and it is time to support the mysterious Pakistani team once again! The beauty of Pakistani fans is that deep in their hearts they believe that even though they may be entering a tournament as underdogs, the team will rise as champions, taking the world by a storm. Imran Khan did it 24 years ago and since then we have all hoped for that miracle again.

Photo: AFP

Despite the negative build up to the event in March 2016, we should try to see the positive side of this team; they have just the right mix of players to be least expected to win the tournament. Hence, this team might just bring a baggage of surprises that we all secretly yearn for.

As the T20 world cup is about to begin, the state of our fans resemble the Pakistani cricket team at the moment; low on energy and charisma. The agitated supporters cannot be blamed. While other teams prepare to peak at the right time before the world cup, our team has been doing exactly the opposite. A T20 series loss against New Zealand followed by a dismal performance in Asia Cup along with musical chairs for the opening spots in the batting order. Heck! We don’t even know if we have the right person leading us despite his 20 years of service!

Photo: AFP

Some of us are furious at the selectors, some are trying to keep track of Shahid Afridi’s retirement and the rest are probably as confused as our head coach, Waqar Younis. Amid all this though, we have forgotten the power of  Pakistani fans. The music, the energy, the patriotism that lit up the streets before the World Cup lifted our team’s morale more than any training session. As supporters and proud Pakistanis, we owe to the men representing our country to have faith in them.

It is now that time of the cricket calendar when we embrace ourselves in green and white again. It is now time to forget the differences between us because of being Punjabi, Sindhi, Pakhtun or Baloch. It is also the time when the rich and poor stand united with their eyes glued to the screen and ears attentively listening to the commentary on the radio and praying for the same thing:

“Afridi, please play sensibly tonight!”

Photo: AFP

A chaotic lead up to the World Cup is something Pakistani fans are accustomed to, so no surprises there. However, more often than not, when we enter a tournament as underdogs we bring heaps of entertainment. So Pakistani fans, let us all get out our Pakistan t-shirts, put aside our grudges and support the men in green! We don’t know if they will win the cup or not, however, without our support they will most certainly lose.

Photo: AP

Recent poor performances should not deter the passion of Pakistani cricket fans. It is about time we believe in our players and back our own team. Now is the time for the players and the fans to stand united and not abandon one another.

Do you think Pakistan still has a chance at winning the ICC T20 World Cup 2016?

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Hamza Junaid

Hamza Junaid

The author is an avid cricket follower and plays for a team called Gladiators based in New York. He tweets as @hamza_junaid1 (twitter.com/hamza_junaid1)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.