You know what is stupid? Waking up early on Sundays to watch Pakistan fight it out down under. Scrolling through my newsfeed to find people upload their useless statuses commenting on who should play what or where. These people have not even perfected their cover drives yet self-knighted themselves to perfect everyone else’s. They got their 15 minutes of fame with what they call their wit but you know what I got? The negative aura that Misbah pointed out in an interview prior to the clash against Zimbabwe. Where he downrightly said that people say they back us but their hearts and tongues contradict that statement.
The match against Zimbabwe began and so did our love-hate relationship with the team. As usual our openers took turns strolling out, examining the pitch, giving up and saving the rest for the field. Well only Ahmed Shehzad ended up doing that, Nasir Jamshed made sure he did everything that the word drop and his name could be used in a sentence. The stubbornness of not playing Sarfraz was and remains beyond comprehension. I don’t know how many more backroom staff members have to go to the casino to get him a game. I mean the team sheet is screaming his name and his gloves supplicating to be picked!
Anyways, coming to a more centralized rant, I don’t know what it is with our people. I don’t know if we were born like this or molded into this mess, but we are certainly the best form of criticizers. If there was a choice we would even criticize the word itself. Sorry lads, no critics’ awards for the team either.
Sometimes I don’t blame them. We believe everything is off limits except the hypocrite within. I do not care much about that on any other day, but you don’t lower the expectation of a nation who is banking its happiness on 11 spirited men. You might call them sell outs, but you still tune in, you still cheer, you still celebrate. Yet when they don’t win, they don’t do well, you slam them as if they were on your payroll.
What is more disturbing is that it’s not about a few people. It’s rather about the whole society that acts like this whenever we are playing. At a tea-table chat with a couple of friends, it was revealed how their dads who don’t watch cricket the entire year, tune in for the world cup and then release all the frustrations they have regarding the sport on them. That happens only if we lose, of course it runs in their veins when we are winning.
We are simply a cricket mad nation, minus the cricket. Our analysis of the game begins with Afridi and ends up at Misbah, that too unfavorably. Sadly things have been like this for a long time now. I remember the unity the country displayed in the previous edition of the World Cup. I remember us faltering against Canada a bit but a spirited Shahid Afridi spell took care of that. I remember suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of New Zealand where our fastest produce got hammered by the Palakele Plunderer Ross Taylor. Yet we backed them, we supported them, we gave them the chance they so eagerly wanted.
This time around, we have failed as a nation and failed as patriots. It’s not the same anymore when I wear the neon green jersey and go outside. The faces don’t gleam with delight, they strain with fear. They don’t offer support but condolences that I still am crazy enough to support this fragile team. Their lack of ownership disgusts me to the core and mind you, my core wasn’t event brought up here.
I suggest we wake up to the reality that something that once bonded a nation together, is so easily pointing out our greatest fear – that we are a divided and dishonest nation. Surely we can’t unite when a terrorist attack takes place on our soil. We need to be a nation as a whole to be able to feel the pain. We need to own the mistakes and shortcomings of our people. If we can’t stand by them in times of struggle, they deserve more than our pseudo applause when they bring smiles to our faces.
Yet, if you still can’t buck up the green in you, for God’s sake don’t blame Misbah for it.