Jazba just wasn’t enough

Published: March 31, 2011
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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.

khurran.baig

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.