India may have ended up second, but many of us won something more important than a shiny trophy - the tag of being a good sport.
I was sure I would wake up with a soul wrenching hangover after you pulverized my team yesterday. To be honest, I wanted to bury myself in a hole and keep newspapers at bay so I didn’t have to relive ‘that’ no ball again.
But something happened this morning.
Instead of the pooja room, where she usually offers prayers every morning, my mother-in-law was in the living room, waxing eloquent about Mohammad Amir. ‘God works in mysterious ways,’ she said. ‘The boy who made a mistake in his youth has grabbed his second chance. What a great redemption!’
‘I wish we had players like theirs’, my husband said ruefully. ‘No factory produced pieces.
From the by lanes of Peshawar to an ICC event, they are cricketers in the purest sense’, he said dreamily.
‘And what about that boy Fakhar Zaman’, my father-in-law, said, his cup of filter coffee simmering just like his voice. He is a Navy man no? That’s what a soldier does for his country,’ the ex-serviceman said proudly.
At work, the colleague who had only a day earlier tweeted a crude slur on Pakistan confessed he had watched everything there was on Youtube about Sarfaraz Ahmed. That man, he said sheepishly, ‘is something else’.
On my social media feed, there were dozens of messages congratulating Pakistan and saluting their never-say-die spirit. ‘Marry me Babar Azam’ read one of them!
It felt like utopia.
What if India had won it? I shudder to think of how low some of us would have stooped in our boorish behavior.
It has been a tough few years for Pakistan. Lack of finances and the reluctance of other teams to play there on account of security reasons has crippled them to some extent but as this win shows, you can never write them off. Irrespective of the result, I am sure we will always remember this unbelievable comeback from the team that was expected to crash out in the first round itself.
I can’t believe that I am saying this but thank you Pakistan for winning the match. Thank you for being an inspiration.
India may have ended up second, but many of us won something more important than a shiny trophy – the tag of being a good sport.
Perhaps there may be still be hope for the two countries after all!
Written by Archana Mohan.
About the author: Archana Mohan is a freelance journalist based in Bangalore.