‘Unpredictable’, if I probably see this word in a dictionary and don’t find the ‘Pakistan cricket team’ written right next to it to define this word, I’m going to be picking up another dictionary. It’s high time that dictionaries start preaching everyone this. The lesson we’ve (I’m sure I have) learned from our national cricket team is to expect the unexpected. Be it the World Cup 1992, Champion’s trophy 2017 or the World Cup 2019. One thing all these tournaments have in common is the team bouncing back from playing poorly and being beaten like a wet rag but the end result? Pakistan taking home the trophy. Even though the CWC’19 has still not ended, the uncanny similarities with the World cup’92 has people believing in the official hashtag #WeHaveWeWill, whereas the team has yet again come forward with a lesson to the general masses, rival teams and the who had ruled them out learned an important lesson- NEVER write off Pakistan’s chances!
To a journey of uncanny similarities
March 25th, 1992.
A date that solicits memories of the greatest moment achieved in the history of Pakistan cricket. On this day, after a high-octane final, played under the captaincy of Imran Khan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, his ‘cornered tigers’ beat England by 22 runs and went to lift the World Cup trophy for the first – and till date – the only time in the history.
No other team can quite demonstrate the game’s unpredictable nature like Pakistan can. With back-to-back wins against South Africa and New Zealand, has brought about interesting prospects in World Cup’19 as it reaches its final leg. From having to bounce back strongly from their initial setbacks, much like they did in 1992, the Men in Green along with the cricketing world now find themselves in an indistinguishable position as to the one faced back in the victorious campaign played 27 years ago.
Taking about some of the similarities and comparing it to the current World cup’19, Pakistan were thrashed in the opening matches of both 1992 and 2019, while they emerged victorious in the second match. Their third game was declared a washout in both editions, as next came two losses in the next clashes in both years. This was the verge of conclusion, as the fans were done with the team, as promises were made to never watch cricket. But then came the sixth match, which changed the entire dynamics of the team performance. They came out triumphant in 1992 as well as the stars appearing to be in favor of Pakistan in 2019, as they outplayed the Black-caps during their clash at Birmingham. Interestingly enough, in 1992, the match played between New Zealand VS Pakistan, started with the former winning the toss and choosing to bat, as the Pakistani bowling side bowled the entire team out and inflicted the Kiwis’ first loss, evident in both, 1992 and 2019.
The previous champions before Pakistan in 1992 were Australia (1987) and India (1983), and with that order of champions surprisingly repeating, the first question that comes in my mind at least is will the Men in Green march hard enough to bring home the World Cup on 14 July at Lord’s?
Calling it a mere coincidence or something else, the Pakistan cricket team is suddenly back in the game as they have started making headlines after their win over the Black-caps. Pakistan, who were constantly criticized before are now being lauded by not just their fans all-over but the entire cricketing world. As the World Cup’19 enters the final stretch, plenty is still to be decided after the world is not even close to being prepared for another week of high-voltage drama.
With West Indies, Afghanistan and South Africa out of the race for the World cup with Sri Lanka clinging hard to the CWC’19 as the chances are slim. As for the Bangla Tigers, this is the best World Cup they ever played and thus would be it would be a mistake to rule the Tigers out as they won’t want to go home just yet. The Tigers are two wins away from qualifying for the semi-finals, but crucially for them, they must overcome India and Pakistan to stand in the semi-final. Taking into account their ODI record against their two neighbors, they have bagged 10 wins and stood 60 losses. It may hardly be inspirational, but Bangladesh is a different team as they are ready to bet their chances against anyone. So, the teams’ may look out from them.
As for the remaining teams, India, Australia has secured a chance to march into the semi-finals with their heads held high as they outshined every other Team, meanwhile New Zealand, despite their defeat to Pakistan, only require another point to secure a position in the semi-final.
As for England and Pakistan, it’s still a battle that none want to lose. As England sits at the fourth position as of now, Pakistan is all set to dismantle them and take over their position to reach the semi-finals.
The Men in Green emerging victorious against the Black-caps has left Pakistan just a point behind England, along with Bangladesh, with two games to play. Pakistan with seven points in their bag is set to face the tests against Afghanistan today and Bangladesh on the 5th of July. With win predictability of 89%, Pakistan will seemingly be confident of beating Afghanistan and then set their strategies on a blockbuster against the Bangla-Tigers at the Lord’s on July 5, which will be unmissable.
There is still time, as Team Pakistan’s win against the Kiwi’s with five balls to spare, leaves the hosts and pre-tournament favorites- England in danger. England is in a mess, they need to dig themselves out of. In order to ensure qualification, they need to beat both India and New Zealand. As two group games will be enough to guarantee England a semi-final place. But will it be that simple? Nope. As the Men in Green are all charged up to overtake Team England and proceed to the semi-finals…But (oh these buts) are ready for another plot twist? As always, politics being dragged in every sphere of life, there are speculations that to curb Team Pakistan from reaching the semi-finals, Team India may lose from England intentionally. As disturbing as this though is, I personally think that for a dedicated team like India, having an undefeated streak means much more than adopting such petty ways to change the dynamics of a game. (But if this is true, well they’re the pioneers of showing typical Saas-Bahu shows, so who better than India to bring this into games.)
Ending it on a positive note, cheer up guys and don’t lose hope in our boys just yet. Let’s pray for our Men out there. May they be successful in bringing home the cup, once again!