A few days before The Express Tribune’s first anniversary, Pakistan had lost a World Cup semi-final against India. Less than a month before our second anniversary, a Virat Kohli special reminded us again why India won the World Cup. Both, just as they did to most Pakistanis watching, hit us hard. Because just like most Pakistanis, we put our heart and soul into sports. Cricket is a clear winner on our pages, but we like to make our readers aware that kabaddi, ludo, donkey-cart racing, malakra and dangal exist as well.
We commented on why Shahid Afridi made a mistake when he retired after being sacked as captain, but we also told the world about Farhan Saeed who’d run into bowl as fast as he could – on crutches. Our national female taekwondo champion and National Games gold medallist is a girl who can’t talk or hear; an Asian Championship silver-medal winning boxer now mends punctured tyres to earn a living; and Anwar Ali, Pakistan under-19’s world cup winning hero, pressed socks to provide for his family’s needs.
We realise the importance of mentioning the record-breaking run Lionel Messi is on and how Tiger Woods’ comeback is gaining momentum despite a poor Masters. But, being a Pakistani publication with a drive to be different, we know it’s important to report beyond the match bulletins and scorecards.
As The Express Tribune completes its 24 months in circulation, we can proudly list several stories that we were the first to report – neglected athletes that we were the first to identify, deserving individuals that we were the first to give a platform to. All this not to increase our circulation but to satisfy the nation’s thirst for sports but also to tell them there exists a world of sports beyond it all – where individuals, their past, their efforts and their zest matters more than how many runs and goals they’ve scored.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2012.
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