Twenty20 World Cup 2009 June 20, 2009

Go Pakistan, this could be your moment

 
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There is something about Pakistan's determination to put right some of the wrongs of the past, and lift the mood of the people back home © Associated Press
 

In 1999, Pakistan played thrilling World Cup cricket only to be crushed in the final by Australia at Lord's. In 2007 Pakistan came within an agonising 5 runs of winning the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. In one fell swoop - a Twenty20 final at Lord's - Younis Khan's team can banish both those painful memories for Pakistan's players and supporters.

This is an unexpected opportunity. Few people predicted Pakistan could reach this stage. Cricket's perennial underachievers have overachieved in this tournament. They have already made their supporters proud. Against Sri Lanka they will again start as underdogs.

But if Pakistan play with the same passion, pride, and fearlessness that they have displayed in the latter half of the tournament then they have every chance of success. Pakistan play a strong Sri Lankan team, but the teams are evenly matched. A flash of genius from a player from either side will seal this match. Enter Shahid Afridi, a player with verve. This could be your moment.

Sri Lanka would be worthy winners too - and the dignity they showed after the Lahore attacks would be reason enough- but there is something about Pakistan's determination to put right some of the wrongs of the past, and lift the mood of the people back home, that is compelling.

Younis Khan's admonishment of Mohammad Aamer for failing to complete a run out when the semi-final was already won tells its own story. Afridi and Abdul Razzaq have the pain of a decade ago to ease. Many of the players watched India celebrate in South Africa two years ago. Above all, their countrymen have suffered on a daily basis for many months. Younis, Afridi, and Umar Gul are from the war torn North West Frontier Province. Pakistan have many powerful motivations to win this cup.

But the match will not be decided on sentiment. Pakistan may not have an Ajantha Mendis but they possess a more consistently powerful bowling line-up. Sri Lanka shade the batting although Pakistan are fast improving and must have one big score in them, surely? At least they will be confident of tackling Murali and Mendis. It was Lasith Malinga who undid them in the Super Eights match. Pakistan must play him with a clear plan. The last outing was panic-stricken.

It is always difficult to predict a Twenty20 match with certainty. But I am certain that Younis' team have been the best ambassadors that Pakistan has had for many years. They have not achieved this through politics or money. They have achieved this through their skill and passion on a cricket pitch and the joy and excitement that they have brought to this tournament. Changing the world's view of the people of Pakistan was harder than winning any World Cup.

Now for the easy part. Go Pakistan! Dil Dil Pakistan . . .

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fanedlive on January 13, 2010, 3:56 GMT

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  • fanedlive on June 23, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Dear Kamran, Its joyfull to experience Pakistan winning the cup, but since the day of finals I only have been thinking that how unfair it is on Razaq. Everybody write and talk of Afridi but tell me if Afridi didn't score 50 would other remaining 4 batsmen not have scored that anyway. But what if SL had not lost those wickets to Razaq. Tell us who is the real hero

  • fanedlive on June 22, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan. We can do it. Ahmed Shahzad or minimum Salman Butt to replace Fawad Alam.

  • fanedlive on June 22, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan. We can do it. Ahmed Shahzad or minimum Salman Butt to replace Fawad Alam.

  • fanedlive on June 22, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    Hi Sharjeel,

    The Pakis have already done it. They won the championship more than 10 hours before you had posted this message.

    Congratulations to Pakistan.

  • fanedlive on June 22, 2009, 4:53 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan. We can do it. Ahmed Shahzad or minimum Salman Butt to replace Fawad Alam.

  • fanedlive on June 21, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    Congrats pakistan have won the T20 World Cup by the grace of Almighty Allah. Afridi is legendary all-rounder. green shirts have made us feel proud. well done sri lanka for great performance too

  • fanedlive on June 21, 2009, 18:52 GMT

    Many many heartfelt congratulations to Pakistan team and Younis Khan for winning the T20 world cup. When he had clarified his views after taking over the captaincy that he wants to emulate the 1992 victory by Imran khan then everyone laughed about his comment as to how he could he bring out the best out of loosely knit Pakistan eleven. But what has he achieved today is even greater considering the undercooked preparations and starvation of international quality cricket. no team would have been so starved of quality cricket before going for world event in any sport and still managed to win it. It shows a Brave Heart of the contributors and is a message to ICC. They can no longer ignore such a force in FTP of ICC. Thanks and congrats to Pakistan team and Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi for bringing a great jpy to a beleaguered nation.

  • fanedlive on June 21, 2009, 18:51 GMT

    Thats it. Pakistan have won...!!!

  • fanedlive on June 21, 2009, 18:23 GMT

    We have woooooooon!!!! And the gloryy is back to Pakistan!!! Thank you Team, Stay Blessed !! Pakistan Zindabad!!!

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