For India and Pakistan with the Kashmir battling on the red-line; be it cricket or for the identity it’s craving for decades amid struggle it’s a soup yet to be served. The tournament will truly begin on February 15, with a huge roar and the ground will be like a ‘war zone’ sometimes silenced to mourn over a wicket and sadness will hover around like the partly clouds, colorful umbrellas ruling would be ruling over the center stage when defending champions India will lock horns with arch rivals Pakistan in a Group B match at the Adelaide Oval. The epic encounter is widely known as the pre-world cup final and mother of all matches. It would be the repetition of valentine and soaps widely celebrated, viewed in the form of Bollywood and Lollywood with the twist and war of words among Kashmiri while gluing to the TVs and LCDs.
The every patriotic fan of Pakistan can be seen cursing and praising the 12-15 sec advertisement on Star Sports which also infuses something new-fangled and lips murmur in a longing wish ‘Phorein Gay Nahi Phaad Dein Gay’ and on the hind side Indian fans would be seen praying for India’s sixth consecutive win over Pakistan in World Cup matches to continue their winning streak.
The former players voices and famous personality like Amitabh Bacchan of Bollywood will be commentating in the cricketing war, whereas, the home-borne commentators will be lampooning every batter and bowler whosoever will be playing on that day with the old and young reciting Quranic verses and some hand folded. On the bay, Indo-Pak news channels are trying durable to come up with the best of the archives and programmes to glue Aam Aadmi to the TV sets; be it at shops, homes, or streets these days the life goes to cricket beating all-odds every one becomes tactician, stats man, bulls-eye umpire and the cricket analyst by serving as the cricketing encyclopedia in this continent. The cricket fever has engulfed all from older to younger, from Koshur, Pakistan to Hindustan.
The two neighbours once a nation have a richest history of nail-biting finishes on the cricket ground and each encounter sees patriotic feelings among players gives rise to a feverish pitch with the inclusion of Kashmir where a nationality is written ‘Indian’ but the heart flies to Pakistan in the frozen mist as there always remains a fear of Sedition, which is a bolt, a drone and another AK47 in the state and wherever Kashmiri settles in stays etched in memories. When he/she cheers for Pakistan they are stated as ‘Pakistanuk’ (Pakistani). And the same goes here when Kashmir youth cheers for India or well played century of Indian batter he is lampooned with the Endian (Hindustanuk) as the step-mother takes birth everywhere with unflinching and tenderness swept with Tedhay Medhay Alfaaz (tangled words).
When all heads are glued to LCD as it stays the food for mouthwatering game the youth cheering for Pakistan began the sloganeering on the road-side as Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan (Live, Long Pakistan), Boom Boom, Lala Lala, the only fan of India feels insecure he tries to go for the parachute glide but fails to take a berth of escape, as all the Pakistan fans ‘lauds’ him to hear what he dislikes by the heart. The same ‘brawl’ happens when Kashmiri is being located in Indian states as he feels alienated, ashamed or lives with a fear of being expelled; it’s a war, war of Kashmir where only two big nations make it happen and Kashmir holds the flag of India and Pakistan dying eternally.
As firing between India and Pakistani troops along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir registered a huge concern in the recent past, with the World Cup round the corner can be seen as reason for sharp decline owing the cricketing ground along the working boundaries would be installed with LCDs.
Unconditional love keeps firecrackers bursting in Kashmir
As one cheers for Pakistan, Shahid Afridi, Misbah and more importantly over the emphatic win the cheers reach to mars in oblivion and firecrackers haunt the army placed in Kashmir when India lose to Pakistan, Kashmir celebrates partly as the celebration stays for a time being which is being followed by another death. Alas!
Gulzar, 35, seated cross-legged, having a facial with a crooked nose has been a cricket lover like many other Kashmiris, who supports every team which plays well, but when it comes to the mouthwatering contest between Pakistan and India, his adrenaline rise cannot go unnoticed like millions of others.
Another youth Aabid, 21, while sipping tea punched in air but not less than ten times in an excitement when Umar Akmal whacked the ball out of the ground for a six against England in a warm-up match. Cricket here in this sub-continent is not only for patriotic feeling but it’s a gambling arena for many, it’s a plan and purpose. The prime supporters in Kashmir, Indian and Pakistan would be seen betting on the cricket World Cup with the money ranging anything between Rs.10 to Rs.100000.
‘Boom Boom’ Afridi: Fairy Tale of Krishma Lantern (Lalteen) in Kashmir
It told the tale of a very powerful and young (hunk) cricketer hailing from a Pathan’s family, after he was widely recognized for his 37 ball century against Sri Lanka, and lantern declares Bollywood diva Karisma Kapoor fall in love with Shahid Afridi. It was verbal fairy tale advertisement to sale-out the lanterns. To the company it was a huge success as a tale across Kashmir society was well occupied.
PCB is running out of ideas
Like others, pocket size dynamo Fawad Alam, has shown the caliber while performing with the healthy average and comfortable strike rate in domestic season and still his inclusion was a question mark. The PCB has been switched to political arena and ran into controversies since then, the giants are now working on his name as being included in the list of future captain for Pakistan isn’t it too early or is it they are doing self style tuning .
The Greats in Pakistan finds self on papers
With all respect for big names in Pakistan cricket history I would be mentioning few as the bowling trio summed up as fierce attackers like Shoaib, Waqar and Waseem in the cricketing field and veteran batsmen like Javaid Miandad, Inzamam, Saeed Anwar, Mohmmad Yousuf Pakistan couldn’t find enough ways to utilize their art and craftsmen ship to instill it among the budding players to make a finest mark in the cricketing world due to the rigid behavior of PCB being choosy. The improvement can be seen when the authorities would be in a mood to conduct some programmes and camps to the revival of cricket in Pakistan.
Pakistan has edge
In overall One Day International Pakistan has won 72 out of the 126 matches whereas, India tops 5-0 in World Cup encounters
India’s Cream Roll
1992 – India won by 43 runs
With all guns blazing it was the first time when two cricketing giants met at a World Cup match. The newcomer Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten knock of 54 runs, helped India to post a total of 216 and bowled out Pakistan for 173.
1996 – India won by 39 runs
Indian opener Navjot Singh Sidhu scored 93 to set India a strong platform, middle-order batsman Ajay Jadeja put the finishing touches to the innings, blasting a 25-ball 45 – set a total 287 for eight on the board. This quarter-final match, played at a packed M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Pakistan’s openers’ responded aggressively and were on the royal rumble to take the match away from India. But the middle-order failed miserably, even the efforts of legendary Javed Miandad and Salim Malik couldn’t save it for the team.
1999 – India won by 47 runs
Batting first with the knocks from Tendulkar (45), Rahul Dravid (61) and skipper Mohammed Azharuddin (59) India posted a respectable total of 227 for six wickets. While crumbling under pressure Pakistan’s batting once again collapsed, getting dismissed for 180 in 45.3 overs. The Indian pace duo of Venkatesh Prasad claimed 5 for 27 and Javagal Srinath sclaped 3 for 37.
2003 – India won by 6 wickets
With the help of threatening Saeed Anwar’s fine century on the very day Pakistan set a well composed total of 273. On the other side Indian legend Tendulkar scored 98 while having cramps in-between before falling to a quick rising delivery of Shoaib Akthar. Dravid’s unbeaten 44 and Yuvraj Singh 50 not out, both played crucial knocks to seal victory with 26 balls to spare against arch-rivals Pakistan for the fourth time.
2011 – India won by 29 runs
When Wahab Riaz claimed 5 for 46 Tendulkar scored 85, rose to the occasion in a crunch semi-final at Mohali after being dropped 4-times and helped India to a fighting total of 260 for nine. Pakistan’s response was quick, but the strong start followed by a middle-order failure was on cards as it followed the history.
Misbah-ul-Haq Aka (Tuk Tuk) who played the role of anchor sheet scored 56 dreamt off to guide Pakistan through but he ran out of partners and ultimately was caught after hitting a skier.
2015 – History is yet to be written..
(Pakistan or India? The answer goes PK!)
Pakistan’s bowling attacks in previous World Cups
1992: Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed, Wasim Haider
1996: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed, Ata-Ur-Rehman
1999: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood
2003: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Mohammad Sami
2007: Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Rana Naved Ul Hasan, Azhar Mahmood, Yasir Arafat, Iftikhar Anjum
2011: Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, Junaid Khan
2015: Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali.
With the likes of Irfan, Junaid, Afridi, Ajmal, Hafeez a bowling attack that could have been read in the World Cup now looks extremely bleak with the induction of Rahat Ali who has played only ODI. Though the magician Ajmal has been cleared by the International Cricket Council in recently held test, after working hard with the veteran off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq for weeks couldn’t make it to the squad while the Hafeez’s injury was merely running into controversy. Pakistan team is as fractured as its economy… Why this?