An article I wrote for http://corneredtigers.co.uk/. Can be found at http://corneredtigers.co.uk/pakistan-cricket-%E2%80%93-an-addiction/
Goose bumps. It gives goose bumps. Call me an idiot. A hopeless romantic! A fool! But it gives me goose bumps.
Like many Pakistanis who were born in the 80s and grew up in the 90s, I grew up with cricket in my blood. I grew up watching it, playing it, being scolded by my parents for coming home late because of playing it, or wasting too much time glued to the screen watching matches. I was screamed at because I had ruined my clothes diving across to catch a ball.
Unlike many Pakistanis of the same era, the fire still burns deep inside me. I still have the live score ticking at the bottom of my screen, even when I can’t see live cricket any more. I go to mates places. I end up in pubs (yes there are pubs that show cricket). And I find streams. Needless to say, I keep an eye on Pakistan Cricket.
But this is no easy ride, which is why most of my mates have left me. I still have a few left. Fools! Hopeless romantics! But a few of us still remain.
While the last ten years have been a horrid ride downwards, the last two years have been the worst, and sadly, the last two months, perhaps the worst ever. It can only get better? Sadly it never does. It only gets worse, as this summer has proven.
Fool! Idiot! Hopeless romantic! I hear you say!
But then there are moments like these.
And these lead up to moments like these…
Only to be replaced by moments like these…
There are moments where a team needing 19 runs off of 9 wickets and 11 overs is bowled out within 18 runs.
And there are moments like these. All hope lost. The team goes from strength to an easy push over within the matter of hours, as one dark morning brings the darkest morning in Pakistan Cricket.
And somehow, somewhere, the genius of Pakistan Cricket shines through.
You get Umar Gul showing what Pakistan of the 90s did, running through teams.
You get ‘catches win matches’ moments from Afridi and Alam. You get Umar Akmal wearing green lipstick (yeah what the hell is up with that???).
And it all accumulates to this.
I just love the look on his face. The immense pleasure mixed with surprise. The realization that not for the first time, you achieved something impossible. You can see that in the video above too. Hey I got a wicket, oh wait no!!! I have just done the most amazing deed in history!!!
Yes Pakistan Cricket is a drug, with one of the longest and worst hangovers in history. Sometimes it lasts years. But then you get your highs. Your immense highs. Highs that give you goose bumps.
Last but not the least, only Pakistan Cricket can give you this…
I rest my case!
(None of the images/videos are mine)