10 things I hate about World Cup fever

Published: February 27, 2011
We bank all our hopes for redemption on the promise of winning the World Cup.  PHOTO: AFP

We bank all our hopes for redemption on the promise of winning the World Cup. PHOTO: AFP

1.    The hokey advertising. Not only do I have to endure endless matches endlessly playing themselves out on TV, I also get to watch cricketers mock-pensively recall how one bank changed their lives forever.

2.    That we bank all our hopes for redemption on the promise of winning the World Cup. Pakistan’s name has been besmirched by ball-biters? That’s ok, a world cup win will make it better. Corruption in the religious affairs ministry? Don’t worry, that golden cup will save us from ourselves.

3.    Cricketers-turned-politicians-turned-team advisors. When they started running political parties we wished they’d go back to playing cricket. Now that they’ve started commenting on team morale-building, we wish they’d go back to politicking.

4.    Cricketers-turned- match fixers-turned TV pundits. Just when we thought we didn’t need more Butticisms in our lives, someone decides to try and make the man an expert.

5.    The new wave of nationalism. Patriotic fervour will unite the nation for the next month or so, as fundos, liberals, lefties and righties all rally behind the cricket team. The squabble that reignites after the Cup is just another reminder of our comically short-term memories.

6.   New room for debate. Rampant cricket fever means that every man has an opinion on the team’s performance, stamina, groin injuries etc — and will not be afraid to express said opinions.

7.   If this wasn’t bad enough, religious commentators have jumped on the bandwagon, and will once again claim the team performed poorly because the soles of their sneakers are painted green — the colour of Islam, remember?

8.    The social exclusion. If you aren’t a member of the I-love-WorldCup club, your social calendar for the next month will start looking rather bleak. Ah well, more time to huddle up with that anniversary edition of Ballet Mecanique you’ve been meaning to see. Goody.

9.   The ebb and flow of self-righteous smugness. If you hate on cricket madness and the team loses a match, you’re in the clear. But if the team wins, you’ll find your narrative quickly collapses, leaving you to eye celebrating fans with jealousy and wistfulness.

10.   The anticipation. Not for the win, but for the scandal — because I can just smell the bookies closing in for the kill.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, February 27th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Feb 27, 2011 - 3:52PM

    It is said “in rome do as the romans do”. Cricket is one of the most cherished sports in our part of the world. In an era when ‘media outlets’ are bound to disperse only the most gloomy picture of our existence. This ‘cricket fever’ is the most anticipated change to channel our energies.Recommend

  • sarah
    Feb 27, 2011 - 4:00PM

    i agree with imran on this, although hamna your points are very valid and make sense, i think this “cricket fever” is good for pakistanis to divert their minds away from the prevailing political and social scenario, i believe that the world cup couldn’t have come at a better time for us. we pray that the teams competitive streak continues, and god forbid should they lose to better competition then we will still not stop supporting them in their future endeavors despite disappointments.Recommend

  • khawar
    Feb 27, 2011 - 4:03PM

    it is evident that the writer doesnt like cricket and she is a wanna-be cricket fan and feels left out because she is not enthusiastic about it!
    i hope journalists get a sense! or may be we educated doctors and engineers will have to start writing !Recommend

  • Feb 27, 2011 - 4:15PM

    Why do we have to spoil everything entertaining? Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 27, 2011 - 5:17PM

    Silly article. The newspaper can do better by ditching feeble attempts at humour and sticking to serious journalism.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 27, 2011 - 5:38PM

    This is seriously annoying. Why do you have to write about something you are not passionate about and hurt feelings of others who care about it?Recommend

  • Joakim von Sivers
    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:18PM

    Well same things happen in countries in where football is played. During the football season Europeans are busy haggligng over team performances in bars and even doing patently silly things such as asking a SQUID to tell which team will win.

    On the plus side worldcup is perhaps only time when PAKISTANIS forget about constant barrage of suicide bombings andor bizarre behavior of their corrupt politicians So why lament about fever of cricket during the world cup and why deprive them of this although shortlived but welcome relief from the hardships of their everyday exsitence. Recommend

  • Kamil
    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:37PM

    Terrible article. Recommend

  • bilal danish
    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:38PM

    @Ali: well its just freedom of speech!!! …. Recommend

  • saad hafeez
    Feb 27, 2011 - 7:38PM

    i think you’re taking this too seriously. our lives are already filled with bad and depressing news, why not just let us enjoy cricket at least!!Recommend

  • Feb 27, 2011 - 10:32PM

    I hate you for writing this lol :)Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 27, 2011 - 11:13PM

    lol, Very out-of-drawingroom-kinda-write-up. where do you live? people enjoy watching cricket and you seem to have very little idea about the game. Recommend

  • Feb 27, 2011 - 11:43PM

    11th point: I had nothing better to write.Recommend

  • Atif
    Feb 28, 2011 - 2:27AM

    You yourself have jumped on bandwagon and wrote this, when you have no taste for it. Sports are good for a nations health and for country like our we need events like these to create sense of solidarity. Recommend

  • karachiite
    Feb 28, 2011 - 6:11AM

    we have precious little to celebrate at least let us enjoy cricket!! Come on PAKISTAN!!!Recommend

  • anis kazi
    Feb 28, 2011 - 4:46PM

    this is nauseating. motilium anyone?Recommend

  • zohair
    Mar 1, 2011 - 1:21AM

    It is just sad that the person has written such an article clearly not having enough knowledge about cricket. And then a person mentions freedom of speech in the comments. yea there is freedom of speech which is why we get to read such stuff on blogs.

    Cricket is the most exciting sport in the country and this is the world cup. Yes we will go crazy and we will grow hyper and we will discuss everything that is concerned with the world cup because it is THE sport of the country. I am pretty sure the writer has no issues with sports fans all over the world.

    I would advise her to check out the mayhem at Superbowl USA and Champions League in Europe.

    and LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST. Waseem Akram may be the most corrupt player in the universe and the most corrupt ever. But DEAR WRITER he is one of the best BOWLERS ever born and he will continue to be an authority on the sport till he dies.


  • Amar
    Mar 1, 2011 - 10:08AM

    Dearest Author, please do not write again. In a few sentences you have managed to turn one thing that helps this nation forget its worries into an evil sports event. Well Done!Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 2, 2011 - 12:45PM

    Dr Muhammad Adnan Bhutta should treat her sickness of hating every thing.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 2, 2011 - 4:06PM

    Hanna your article is absolutely crap. Recommend

  • simple.user
    Mar 2, 2011 - 6:33PM

    Don’t write articles just for the sake of writing, if you don’t like cricket and cricket mania go to America for some days, i am sure they don’t watch Cricket and think themselves superior by not watching it just like you…Recommend

  • daisy
    Mar 7, 2011 - 8:42PM

    LOL, actually the bank really did change Younis Khan and Afridi’s life, because they play for HBL in domestic tournies, tht’s what got them in the national team anyway! So… its a very smart ad if you ask!
    At least try to get proper info about the people your are writing about!!!!Recommend

  • gilc
    Mar 8, 2011 - 9:36AM

    I quite agree with the article, we do take it to the next level. Sure a country needs its sports, but how many countries go about shooting down 5 people when celebrating a victory?Recommend

  • Raja
    Mar 14, 2011 - 5:29AM

    Get a life.
    One life
    One passion


  • yaarku
    Mar 22, 2011 - 5:05PM

    12th point:
    i thought why shall i only bear the crap in my mind lets pollute other with it too with this duper crap ;)Recommend

  • Anjabeen Shah
    Mar 24, 2011 - 11:34AM

    Well, well, well. This year the cricket world cup is a HUGE respite for us poor Pakistanis smitten by politics, terrorism, lawlessness, poverty, and Dengue virus. Pleeeeeeze let us enjoy these few days, and then you can hang us on your opinion pole all you want.Recommend

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