A sport is a sport. And cricket is cricket. Winning and losing is a part of game and a part of life as well.
But a Pakistan-India cricket match becomes a matter of life and death for its fans. The losing team has to bite the dust amid garnering for itself uncountable criticism with one player becoming the scapegoat for the entire debacle.
The T20 match on 19th March in Eden Gardens, Kolkata left a lot of bitter and sweet memories for the arch rivals’ fans. The Men in Blue were in their best form right from the start, outclassing the Men in Green in all the three areas to clinch an easy win. While Virat Kohli remained the star of the night, fingers were pointed and all blame was hurled at Pakistan’s T20 skipper Shahid Afridi.
What keeps me confused are the kind of people we have in our country?
On 13th March the media in Pakistan made it their mission to bash the flamboyant all-rounder for claiming to receive more love in India than in Pakistan. Three days later on the 16th , Shahid Khan Afridi was hailed as a hero, giving his best with the bat and ball as well as raising expectations for the cricket fanatics that he was in form before the all-important match between the neighbouring countries.
And then after the high voltage match, he was in the line of fire once again. His opponents wanted one opportunity to bring the house down. This was a golden one. Personally, I find comments so utterly embarrassing and shameful to be used for a man who we consider as an icon, an idol.
Performing or not performing is a separate discussion; but treating a national hero in such a manner is highly obnoxious. This man who has given Pakistan lots of proud moments with his cracking maximums, have made many of us sit in our seats and pray for his mercurial shots to come and cruise Pakistan to victory. Who can forget his mighty blows in the Asia Cup 2014 and the only World T20 cup we won in 2009.
The ridiculous statements coming from the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan after the defeat of Men in Green by the Men in Blue blatantly saying that the nation should not even have expectations for the team to perform as they are ranked seventh. Also adding that Afridi would no more lead the team after the World T20. Dear PCB Chief, you should never pass such comments in the middle of a vital international tournament.
Nevertheless, our very professional media has never left any stone unturned in making a villain out of a hero. The case does not rest only about Lala, our cricketing legend Imran Khan had to reckon with such an attitude along with a number of other well-known achievers who face the brunt of coming under the scanner of our naive media.
Let’s be a little honest with ourselves. Constructive criticism is always welcome. From cricket experts ONLY. I repeat. Cricket experts.
Hurling abuses and ripping a national hero apart from all the respect the world has given him, shows no sensibility. The cherry on top of the argument: people who hardly even know the ‘C’ of cricket are the first in line to pass the worst of crude remarks.
I might sound like a pro-Afridi person owing to my views. It is just because I don’t believe in making a joke out of a national hero to an extent that the world starts making a joke out of him.
He is the pride of Pakistan. Let’s back him and show the world that we are not a nation that loves to pull each other down.