Don’t be surprised to read this Blog post on cricket. It was inevitable. Some of my comments are one-sided observations only. If you happen to be an emotional Pakistani, carrying rant on sleeves, refrain from reading any further 😉
Would you believe that my first ever cricket match was the India vs Pak World Cup in Adelaide Oval on 15th February 2015. Never set foot on a cricket ground before this event, mainly because I have never really been interested in cricket. My interest developed once our daughter started playing girls cricket leagues two years back, then our son got involved in Milo cricket, soon after the backyard family cricket sessions were in full bloom and before I knew it, I was hooked. Let me clarify that my “hook” is exclusively as a spectator only. I’m not keen to step foot on the pitch for bowling or fielding. Batting, maybe you can twist my arm for that 🙂
The experience of attending a live world cup match boosted my interest levels significantly. I had no idea that cricket spectating would be so much fun, especially as a family and more so in a group! Adelaide Oval was beautiful, though I cant really compare it to any other stadium, but those who can have confirmed it certainly is one of the best. The atmosphere in Adelaide Oval was electric and buzzing with supporters donned with Green & Blue jerseys. Mostly Blue jerseys though as the population of India outshines Pakistan by far 😉
Our World Cup trip to Adelaide was with a group of Pakistani and Indian friends. We were all prepared with our team jerseys and plenty of face paints to support both the nations. I was clearly supporting Pakistan on the day, however I’ll be lying if say I didn’t struggle with thoughts on cricket team loyalties leading up to the start of World Cup. For some the choice of supporting a team is a no-brainer. But for me there were multiple layers of considerations to assess. Fret not. I have made the complex assessments and I’m crystal clear about my alliances – and there are a few 😉
#1 Team Bangladesh:
There is no dispute in my mind that Bangladesh would be my first preference. Its the country of my birth and honey like mother tongue. My heart will forever harbour a sweet spot for Bangladesh and of the vivid childhood memories playing in the patio of the red brick house that belonged to my maternal grandmother, nestled amongst the two remarkable coconut trees that are forever inscribed in my thoughts. There is no denying my love of Lychees, Jack fruit and my absolute worship of Rice & Daal – how could I not be a Bengali by blood.
The Tigers have come a long way in cricket, they have proven themselves as international level contenders, still the underdogs, but they have the courage and ability to come back guns blazing. Hats off to all the Tiger supporters for being so positive and optimistic about their team. My Team #1 all the way!
#2 Team Pakistan:
There is strong bond with Pakistan, it is my fathers homeland and the country where I spent most of my secondary school age. It is the country that taught me patriotism. The memories associated with excitement of plastering the Pakistan Flag all around the house to celebrate 14th August – Independence Day is priceless. It is the country where I developed my culinary love for Biryani, Haleem, Nihari, Bun Kebabs, Kulfi, and Kheer. The list is endless. I can carry on forever.
Supporting the Pakistani cricket team is like harbouring a constant heart attack. Regardless of their inconsistencies and fallacies, the love & support for them is undeniable. I only wish that all the Pakistani supporters keep their emotional outbursts at bay on social media. It is heart wrenching to see Green supporters thrashing their own team players. We, the supporters need to uphold our country’s honour and support the team regardless of the outcomes. There are many variables beyond our control, however the one variable totally in our hands is positive support & respect for the nation. We all need to ‘play the ball not the man’. We are the ambassadors for the nation fronting the world on social platforms. To be absolutely & honestly brutal, Pakistani supporters need to contain their emotional outbursts and work on social media etiquettes. The team did exceptionally well considering their circumstances. Wahab Riaz’s performance was exceptional. He is certainly a gem, his capabilities needs to be exploited further. Looking forward to Team Green taking on board the learnings from this World Cup, work on their short comings and bring back the passion and pride in their game.
#3 Team India:
I’ve never set foot in India, but I feel very connected to this country. It is the homeland of my ancestors. In fact, my maternal family still reside in India. I’ve never in my heart felt any rivalry with India, thanks to the upbringing of my parents, especially my mother. She was a woman so open to cultural diversity, always surrounded by friends from all parts of the world. She taught us to appreciate people on face value regardless of cultural and political boundaries. Maybe that is why the core of my heart is devoid of contention. Out of respect of my many Indian friends and the fact that we share the same soil, Team Blue is definitely worthy of my support. It also happens to be my favourite colour 🙂
Team India is definitely in form and a strong contender to take home the cup! I’m banking on them to get to the finals. I have to mention that I’m mostly impressed with the Indian supporters. They have this undeniable passion and conviction in their team. Love the spirit and positivity. Good Luck!
#4 Team Australia:
My adopted homeland, my home. I love Australia. I wish I could say the same about the cricket team. My only bone of contention with the team is the fact that they are so stuck up and racist. This is the only point that holds me back from giving them unconditional support. No doubt they play amazing cricket, but they have to work on gaining my empathy & alliance. Of course I will never discount them, as I’m truly patriotic to Australia, but I will continue to support other Australian sports until the cricket team learns to appreciate cultural diversity… 😉
So there you have it. My new found love of cricket and the sequence of my cricket team support. No doubt that sports instils passion, drive and courage for the players as well as the spectators. Team spirit is electric and contagious. Wishing that all the cricket supporters display positive behaviour and remain optimistic of their teams for the remaining world cup games. Remember that words are powerful. We all should use them to drive positivity.
The most deserving team will definitely take the cup. My bet now is with Team India.
© as|fa 2015