Heartbreak in Pakistan, joy in India

Published: March 31, 2011
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Indian fans celebrate victory in semi-final against Pakistan, in Mumbai streets. PHOTO: AFP

Indian fans celebrate victory in semi-final against Pakistan, in Mumbai streets. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Pakistani fans were disappointed by the end of their team’s run in the ICC Cricket World Cup even as fans across the border in India broke out in ecstatic celebrations as India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in the semi-final.

Fans across Pakistan, from Karachi to Peshawar, were crestfallen at the team’s exit from the tournament, though most did not level any allegations of match-fixing, as has been common in the past. They did, however, want to blame at least some of the players.

“We lost because of Misbah, as he did not score well when it was most required,” angry fan Awais Shakir told AFP on Islamabad’s main Jinnah Avenue as thousands of disappointed fans were leaving for home.

Some fans, however, appreciated the performance of fast bowler Wahab Riaz.

“Only young Wahab Riaz shone like a star by taking a five wicket haul and bowling danger man Yuvraj Singh for a first ball duck but other teammates and the seniors could not contribute in the possible winning effort,” said Zark Khan, another Karachi resident.

Another fan Nasir Habib said that where he was disappointed over the defeat of the team at the same place he was happy that this day united all Pakistanis in a single platform. “There was no Mohajir, Pakhtoon, Sindhi, Baloch, Shia and Sunni,” Habib said. “All of us were Pakistani because of this match and it is enough for us and we should pay thanks that we spent a whole day as a Pakistani.”

Other fans acknowledged that India had played a better game. “India deserved to win,” said Kashif Abbasi. “The good thing was that our team did not give up without a fight.”

The feelings on the other side of the border, on the other hand, were the exact opposite: unrestrained joy at having defeated archrivals Pakistan on their way to the third World Cup final in Indian cricketing history.

“We love you India,” screamed a group of college girls over Bollywood music blaring across the packed 30,000-seater Punjab Cricket Association stadium as noisy celebrations erupted throughout the country.

“It feels as if we have won the World Cup,” said 23-year-old Anuradha Biswal.

“The match was so close, my heart missed a beat every time the Pakistani batsman hit a four or a six. But our team made us proud tonight.”

The match had generated huge hype ever since the arch-rivals were drawn together for the semi-final, but the fierce contest out in the middle was in stark contrast to the bonhomie in the stands.

“The feeling is as if the bigger brother has won,” said Salma Riyaz, a Pakistani fan who travelled to Mohali for the match. “There was no angry exchange and tempers were never frayed despite the cauldron-like situation. It shows we have matured and take things in the right perspective.” (AFP with additional reporting from our correspondents)

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • SA
    Mar 31, 2011 - 8:49AM

    Yes there were no allegations of match fixing as have been in the past. Agree we did put up a good fight.Recommend

  • Mar 31, 2011 - 10:17AM

    They played well and we did not play as well but it was a good match..Recommend

  • Asif Ali Zoordari
    Mar 31, 2011 - 10:37AM

    Khappay khappay Recommend

  • Suleman, Baroda
    Mar 31, 2011 - 10:59AM

    India…..India!!!!Recommend

  • Hafeez.Indian
    Mar 31, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Waiting for Comments for Loss from our Pakistani Brothers…. Match Fixing, RAW involvement, Indian Black Magic, Hindu Extremism, Inefficient PCB, Khafir land. My brother in Dubai told all the Indian Muslim Brothers there supported India through out the game. So our Pakistani brothers claim of All Muslim support to Pakistan is also a dream.Recommend

  • Cricketer
    Mar 31, 2011 - 4:16PM

    @Hafeez indian
    your comment shows your inferior complex…………..Our Pakistani team played quite well, better luck next time , at least they reached semi-final,its good enough.Recommend

  • Dr. Abhishek
    Mar 31, 2011 - 4:55PM

    Last para is touching.. Fantastic match.. Pakistan had their moment in the match.. say it Wahab’s yorker to Yuvraj or Ajmal saeed’s fantastic bowling and Umar Akmal’s fight, all were highly praised by fans all over in India. but in the end the Better team won. Pakistan’s Fielding and lack of Strategy were highly disappointing and lead eventually it to loss the Big game. Recommend

  • Ravindra Mishra
    Apr 1, 2011 - 9:02AM

    @Hafeez.Indian: Bro, your gloating is in bad form and taste. The Pakistani team pulled through the ranks and come up very high to level with the Indian teams wonderful batting line-up. They even ended Australia a nice jolt (that itself speaks for a team on its way back). Say what you will, they have shown a very determined effort. The thing about Cricket as religion in South Asia is that we are all, Pak-Ind-Bangla … faced with a thorough lack of rule of law and fairness in our daily existence. We see it the rule of law, fairplay and honesty on the Cricket grounds. Which is why it has the pull and place in our lives. Another thing we get a lot in our life, bro, is a lot of stereotyping and foul mouthing (both sides), but that is not the gentleman’s way … and definitely not the etiquette for a gentleman’s game. Plainly, it’s not cricket. Please desist. There was no provocation from anyone on this thread. It is uncalled for. Thank you. Recommend

  • G. Din
    Apr 1, 2011 - 6:56PM

    It is enough that you put up a good fight! Winning or losing in sport does not matter one whit!
    Both played well. It is just that this time luck favoured us (Indians). Lady Luck is fickle. It is quite possible she may not do the same the next time. Cross your fingers!Recommend

  • Faraz
    May 12, 2011 - 2:31PM

    @Hafeez.Indian: Who cares about your support? We never asked you to support us. You should support your own country. Also may I please ask you stop trolling our websites and mind your own. Thanks.Recommend

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