Thanks for winning Team Green!

Published: November 12, 2011
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Pakistan has secured a tremendous victory over Sri Lanka by a staggering eight wickets. PHOTO: AFP

I still remember the first time I beat my male cousins at a sport they loved and thought only boys could be good at. I was 14-years-old.

Just like everyone else in the neighbourhoodI grew up loving cricket. There would be heated debates over cricketer crushes, whom we referred to by their nicknames. We watched entire matches; I think we all lived for those and still do.

Pakistanis ardent love of cricket can be seen in every street where the game is played with heated passion. But this is not because every kid playing the game wants to be on the national team one day; cricket has simply become part of our identity. Lala (Afridi), Gul, Misbah, Waqar, and of course Wasim bhai, all seem like family to 170 million people.

Yesterday, the nation was blessed with the chance to celebrate with Pakistan’s bashing of Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dubai. Pakistan won by a whopping eight wickets after getting Sri Lanka all out for a meagre 131 runs. They chased this target in just 21.5 overs, with Imran Farhat and Younus Khan scoring half centuries. What a pleasure it was to watch Afridi take three wickets for 27 runs. Thank you Pakistan cricket team for making the nation so proud.

Our cricket team has done us good time and time again, be it with Pakistan reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup or with Pakistan winning the last five Test series it has played. It is for this reason that my green jersey, which I have worn to all cricket matches I have ever witnessed, makes me feel so important. The number ten on it reminds me of the one person I am very proud to have on the team. Just like you all, I have seen this number appear on various roadside matches, where little children imitate the signature pose of the legend, Shahid Afridi, hoping one day to be in his shoes.

It makes me sad to see the massive hullabaloo over the mistakes our players have made. The amount of media coverage our ‘tainted trio‘ has received has been tremendous. People have been unforgiving. Why, I ask, can’t we celebrate our victories with the same gusto? Pakistan just secured a massive win against a world-class team. Why aren’t people happier about this? How come I haven’t seen a single blog post about this news? Why must we always dwell on the negatives and forget about the positives?

Today, I would like to give our cricket team a standing ovation. For once I would like to put aside ball-tampering controversies, match fixing allegations, doping issues, and spot fixing – I would just like to pay tribute to a team who is doing the best that they can.

Let’s face it, one win against India will make us forget whatever resentment we might have had against our cricketers. Why can’t we feel the same way about a tremendous performance against Sri Lanka? My advice; stop being petty and celebrate. Pakistani cricketers deserve your applause.

Mariam Ishaq

Mariam Ishaq

A graduate student at LUMS, who is also a social worker interested in gender and a Y-PEER Trainer on HIV/AIDS (UNFPA).

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