Overshadowing haka: From Iceland’s war chant to Pakistan’s push-ups

Published: July 18, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

It wasn’t long ago that sporting fans were mesmerised by Iceland’s post-match celebrations in Euro 2016 held in France.

The men from the Nordic nation amazed the world with their Viking war chant, which gained popularity after the underdogs threw England out of the competition in one of the classic David versus Goliath football encounters.

The celebration became so popular that even after Iceland were defeated by hosts France in the quarter-finals, the Icelandic people greeted their national team in a similar fashion, paying a tribute to their courage and hard work.

Euro 2016: Iceland stun England in one of greatest ever shocks

And it overtook New Zealand’s famous haka, which the All Blacks usually perform prior to the international rugby matches to challenge their opponents.

However, when Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq celebrated his first Test century at Lord’s cricket ground with military style press-ups, little was known that it would start trending all across the globe as well.

Misbah becomes oldest Test centurion in 82 years

In the post-match conference, Misbah revealed that the press-ups were for the trainers of Pakistan Army.

“I promised them [army trainers] I would do 10 push-ups if I score a century on this tour,” he said.

“We had an honour code on the boot camp, for push-ups, so that was my promise to them the next time I scored 100. So that was for them, and the salute was for the flag.”

Last month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had arranged a boot camp at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul for players to increase their fitness level, following the debacle in Asia Cup and World T20 tournaments.

A Lord’s win that took 20 years

Nevertheless, the press-ups soon started taking the cricketing fraternity by storm.

And the Pakistan national team followed Misbah’s suit as well when they claimed their first Test victory at Lord’s cricket ground after a period of 20 years.

Pakistan now leads the four-match Test series 1-0 against England, and we hope to see more of these press-ups in the coming matches.

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