After their crushing defeat in the World Cup cricket match in Ahmedabad on 14th October at the hands of the Indian team, the Pakistan team has been receiving continuous heavy flak both in India as well back home in Pakistan. The players are being ridiculed, lampooned and castigated for giving a terrible performance
It was said that the team did not even put up a fight
Others said that the Pakistanis came to India only to eat biryani, not to play cricket. Still others said the Pakistani players had been purchased
My young Pakistani journalist friend, Sohrab Barkat, who lives in Islamabad and works for the portal siasat.pk, and has taken many of my interviews, was particularly harsh on the Pakistan team after its defeat in Ahmedabad
I too plead guilty, since after the Ahmedabad match I had made some scathing criticism like tweeting that Pakistanis should give up cricket and start playing gulli danda.
Later, I felt I had been too hasty and harsh on the Pakistan team, and I spoke last night to Sohrab on whatsapp about this. I told him that it is true that the Pakistani players gave a bad performance in Ahmedabad, but even good teams and good players sometimes have bad patches. We must cheer up their spirit, instead of disheartening them further.
The Pakistan players, whom I regard only as boys, and therefore like my grandchildren ( since I am 78 whereas they would be in their 20s ), must be feeling very depressed and demoralised after their lacklustre performance in Ahmedabad. Far from further criticising and demoralising them, they need ‘hausla afzai’ or upliftment of their spirit, which we all must do now.
I personally think that the Pakistani team is a good team. The performance of Abdullah Shafique and Mohd Rizwan against Srilanka was superlative, while Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, etc have yet to display their outstanding skills.
It must be remembered that Pakistan has won 2 of the 3 matches it has played so far in the World Cup, and its loss at Ahmedabad is not the end of the road for the team. It has yet to play Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand.
In fact its loss to India can be a blessing in disguise, for now the Pakistan players will be compelled to sit together and examine their mistakes, and improve their strategy.
I am sure the team will give better performances in future.