No shame in St Lucia
|"Pakistan fans should feel proud of the way their players applied themselves" © AFP|
Pakistan went out of the Twenty20 World Cup with their heads held high. Until the very last over they had confounded all expectations and had the match in their grasp. But an incredible finish from Michael Hussey stole one of the most incredible matches in Twenty20 history.
The cut and thrust of this format is such that a match can be won or lost within moments, and so it transpired. Australia are an immensely powerful team and it is to Pakistan's credit that they pushed them so close.
Pakistan fans should feel proud of the way their players applied themselves. There is no shame in this defeat, or in this valiant defence of their title. In some ways, it would have been undesirable for another World Cup victory to paper over the failings of the PCB or of squad selection. Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis have produced a decent outcome from the shambles they inherited.
Defeat can divide but sometimes it can be a platform to build upon. That's how Pakistan must view this day. Fortune helped them to another semi-final, and the semi-final gave them a glimpse of a better future.
With the right management of Pakistan cricket, the team can become a serious force. But that requires a major overhaul of the PCB - and that's a longer shot than Hussey scoring 18 off a Saeed Ajmal over.
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here