Jazba just wasn’t enough

Published: March 31, 2011

Pakistani cricket fans watch the Cricket World Cup second semi-final match between Pakistan and India on a huge outdoor screen in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan lost the much-hyped match against India, just as they lost on previous four occasions where they came up against India in any World Cup game.

They say history never repeats itself, but it did in this case.

However, folly always repeats itself. We made the same mistakes that we always do.

Pakistan felt they could go into the game and pull off a win even after fielding like they always do, leaking runs and dropping catches. But one can ride luck just so far. Eventually, reality catches up and the men are separated from the boys. Let’s hope Kamran Akmal is very soon separated from the team, permanently.

The Pakistan team felt that it could win even there was no real work on batting and throw away their wickets.  The propensity to play outrageous shots at incomprehensible junctures in the match persisted. But the inability to control their rashness or to reach for the ball outside the off-stump will eventually extract a toll. I hope that the PCB will eventually have the guts to put consistent underperformers like Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan out of the ODI lineup.

Pakistan also thought that one match-winner would click in every game and win it for them. For them, one day it would be Umar Akmal who would lead the charge; the next it would be Afridi and his shooters or it would be the all-round brilliance of Razzak. But Pakistan forgot that it’s a team sport and it really helps if more than just one or two players chip in, on a regular basis.

But we thought jazba would be enough. We thought that the prayers of millions of fans across Pakistan would see us through.

There is, however, one silver lining.

At least now the tax-payers’ money will be saved from going to waste since Shahbaz Sharif won’t be giving 25 acres of land that he promised each player if they won the cup. And one can be sure that President Zardari would have topped his last offer of Rs1 million each to Afridi and Younus and half a million to all other members of the team that won the 2009 T20 cup.

Unless we are naive enough to believe these gifts come from their personal pockets, I say, it’s a blessing for a poor country like Pakistan whose leaders cannot stop playing Hatim Tai.


Khurram Baig

Business Editor at The Express Tribune. Baig has worked at Dawn News as a host and news anchor and was city editor at The News. He writes on sports and current affairs.

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

  • maheen usmani

    Beautiful! You expressed my sentiments exactly. In this case, there was no jazba either.. why else was there the lacklustre body language, the dropped catches, the bewildering batting, the wides and no balls galore, the perplexing strategy? Let’s face it: we let the Indians snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and they accepted our gift with open arms. Recommend

  • Khawaja Faraz

    Cut it out …at least they are trying to do something for Pakistan on ground not any lame person spending time on net and trying to write waste of time stuff like the Sex for Sale, The Padded bra etc. etc.Recommend

  • Amena

    History always repeats itself. Please check what ‘they say’.
    You’re unbelievably whiny, aren’t you?
    Now go fail my comment when it comes to the ‘moderation stage’.

  • Happy Man

    Get a life dude. Pakistan Rocked, and we don’t need any stupid blog to tell us that we didn’t. Afridi Zindabad, Pakistan Paindabad.Recommend

  • Asif Nawaz

    Author, Our Jazba is still high, We only lost a match, but we won Riaz as a wicket taker, We won Umar Akmal as a hitter, We won Afridi as a Captain, We won Ajmal as an Entertainer, We won Indian and Pakistani hearts with Afridi’s speech, We won Pakistan as a team. So 6:1, overall, it is us who won at the end.Recommend

  • Saad

    At least the team showed all its critics, who thought Pakistan wouldn’t even make it to the quarter finals! And Younis Khan really needs to retire now, did he do ANYTHING in this whole tournament?Recommend

  • http://www.google.com.pk Amer

    i know it was already fix as indicated by bbc news…Recommend

  • Hassan

    Attendance limited to self-respecting Pakistanis only!

  • Hassan

    I completely agree with Asif and Saad. We should be proud of how Afridi and the boys turned around our team in such a short span of time and went beyond anyone’s expectations in this WC

    Attendance limited to self-respecting Pakistanis only!

  • http://studentsofpakistan.com Imran Ahmad Khan

    Dear author,

    Misbah is a consistent under performer? Perhaps that is why he averaged 49.60 in this World Cup in 6 innings? And perhaps that is exactly why he averages 56.37 with the bat in ODIs this year?

    The jazba is still there. It will remain there. It will InshAllah reflect in every aspect of our lives. Afridi and his men managed to unite this nation. If there is any team in the world that can be ordinary in the field and yet manage to restrict one of the best batting line-ups in cricket for 260, it is Pakistan. If there is one team that has an amazing spark of youth, it is Pakistan. If there is one team in the world that has shown the mental strength of MEN, not BOYS in the last 6-8 months, it is Pakistan.

    It is just one loss. Team Pakistan fought it out well. Be supportive. It is not like these mistakes are repeated in every game. If anything, under Waqar Younis, our team has learned a lot.

    Again, support your team!!!!!!Recommend

  • http://habloid.wordpress.com Habiba Younis

    cut the crap!Recommend

  • http://www.topimaster.com Junaid

    you seem totally frustrated…we reached the semi-final after 11 years..say thanks to ALLAH and i suggest you don’t waste your time on writing of these kinds of articles. We love Afridi Bhai!Recommend

  • http://na deep

    According to one caller on one morning show, the Pakistani cricketeers did Namaaz (or Sajda as she called it) on the field in Mohali and that is victory enough. The underlying thought is Islam was introduced into a land of Kufrs. What the caller does not realise is that Indian muslims also do namaaz. Talat Hussain on his programme showed clips of zee or star news talking about Afridi the cheater or something – an old clip of Afridi trying to get Yuvraj out surreptiously. And he called this an undeclared war against Pakistan. What did he expect from news channels that peddle sensationalism as news? And ulitimately if you are looking for signs of hate against Pakistan, you will find that in abundance in India. It does not prove anything – there are unresolved issues that need to be tackled, cricket match or no match. Recommend

  • Amer

    We love you Shahid Bhai! There was no need to say sorry, we will always be thankful to your for this wonderful World Cup. You will inshAllah captain the next world cup team in 2015 to victory! The dream/jazba or what you want to call it will NEVER DIE! We will continue to ignite it with GREEN BLOOD! Recommend

  • Pappu Pager

    thank you admin for not posting my commen which was allnuthing but the truth..

    hope posting all negative n lies on ur website do yall good. Recommend

  • Saad

    i think the Pakistan team played well throughout the tournament … they were beaten by the better team … i was reading one of the comments by an indian that till the last ball they were restless … they thought Pakistan could take away this game … so as long as Indians are pissing in their pants while watching and playing against Pakistan … I am happy !
    now the next target is 2012 World T20 …Recommend

  • zunair ali

    Hey Khurram, i completely agree with you…
    the comments are interesting though.. and i see you have also joined the ‘pessimist’ club of writers.. somebody needs to explain to these ‘bachhas’ that loving your cricket team is not bad but this blind and undue love that you call patriotism is now embarrassing. Recommend

  • pl/sql

    I am a Kamran Akmal fan from India and I want him to stay in the Pakistani team. I also think that Misbah hac should be sent up the batting order to become the opener in ODIs and 20/20s.
    –Zaid Hamid FanRecommend

  • Khawaja Faraz

    Now new Bachhas like thy Zunair i feel i like to remain in the pessimist group that thinks that you writer bachhas are nothing but people who love to criticise.Recommend

  • Sidra

    For God’s sakes cut out the pessimism!
    You know its people like you who bad mouth about Pakistan and are always negative who create a wrong image of Pakistan. When we have no respect for ourselves then how do you expect others give us respect??
    Atleast there should be some difference between a team failing in the qualifying rounds and a team which got through to the semi’s. Your a spoiled sport!
    Love you Afridi!Recommend

  • sania

    what a horrible and whiny article …my GodRecommend

  • Muzaffar Hussain

    The blog is written in good manner. Pakistani team did not show planning and strategy at any time in the match. Do not astonish? it is real result/outcome.Recommend

  • Ehsan

    Excellent article.. you wrote exactly what I wanted to say!Recommend

  • J

    Very nice article!

    Group A was very easy, we all knew Pak would play QF unless and until they are beaten by Kenya, Zimbabwe or Canada (we actually gave the last one a fighting chance). Victory against Srilanks was sweet despite Kamran Akmal’s heroics. Australia is a declining side with aweful middle order. NZL thrashed us. We did not fail in fielding only but our batting proved incapable to chase a big score. West Indies has not won an ODI against a major side in years. Beating them is no achievement. Our true test was against India, in which we showed our attributes honestly which are excellent bowling but crappy batting and fielding.Recommend

  • http://Newark Cherish Raj

    Typical Pakistani mentality. You guys do not want your team to win, just want India to lose. But we want our team to win and that is the difference. That is our motivation. You would never understand that because your system is based on schadenfreude rather than positive thinking.Recommend

  • nazish

    what a loser….kindly check with ur first line”history repeats itself”is THEY SAY…
    and u also try n show sum jazba..we came together (leaving out some loserz)felt like a nation,celebrated and rejoiced and have fate in Allah ,we got to xcept that we can lose and win…Recommend

  • san

    I agree with KB,green shirts need a complete overhaul and young blood must be inducted as Mr.Boom Boom has also advised to board.Don’t you think that Akmal Clan must be stopped from further tarnishing our cricket? Why we have Razzak in our side when we can groom young blood Hammad along side other seniors.KB has penned the truth which needs to be implemented sooner.Recommend

  • Tanveer Arif

    Yes..Jazba was not enough…means success doesn’t come through short cut. Cricket (and all other popular sports) are now a science. For competitive international cricket, one has to be physically and mentally tough. Why good coaches are drawing million dollars salaries? because they transform players match fit. In Pakistan, sorry to say merit doesn’t have a place. The entire cricket infrastructure is based on fake and adhocism platform. There is no democratically elected board, no policy, no real selection system. Players are just coming up through their sheer talent, but once they come up, there is no proper grooming. We reached to the semi-final, but now closely watch all those matches, was our performance matched to a true champion team? was our fielding up to the standard? absolutely not and that was a major difference. Other teams, such as India were saving at least 25 runs with their athletic fielding, while we were giving extra 25 runs as a gift to opposite teams. This was the real difference.

    Jazba is good, but after you have a solid base, and competitive approach. Before relying on jazba, we need to go at basics and correct a lot of things in Pakistan cricket. Recommend

  • Walter Gonsalves

    @Happy Man:

    You’re right HM – Pakistan’s truly “pain”dabad.Recommend

  • Walter Gonsalves


    If not 2015 then certainly 2019 or 2023 or 2027 or 2031 ……. dreams never cost money, so dream on Pakis!!!Recommend