July 5, 2010

Brydon Coverdale and Nagraj Gollapudi on Pakistan and Australia in England 2010

The signs are good for Pakistan's home from home

Brydon Coverdale

Not quite the neutral game at Edgbaston Not quite the neutral game at Edgbaston © Getty Images
It's sad that Pakistan won't be hosting any international teams at home for the foreseeable future. But if Monday's Twenty20 in Birmingham is any indication, they could do worse than making England a de facto base in the next couple of years.

The Edgbaston ground wasn't quite full - substantial rebuilding works played a part in that - but of the 12,000 or so fans it's fair to say 80-90% were supporting Pakistan. Birmingham has one of the biggest Pakistani populations in the UK - indeed the previous lord mayor of the city, Abdul Rashid, was originally from Pakistan - and they can expect similar support when they hit Leeds for the second Test.

Before the game, the noise of the air-horns all around the ground was deafening; perhaps the only thing louder was the roar of approval each time Umar Akmal or Shahid Afridi jogged to the boundary to field in the deep later in the day. When David Hussey was fielding on the rope earlier, he had to shrug off a few heckles.

The crowd rose as one for every Pakistan run early in the innings, be it a boundary or a single tickled to fine leg. One portly, balding gentleman who might have been in his fifties was waving a Pakistan flag while sprinting up and down his row with the sort of energy you might expect from his son or grandson.

The yellow shirts of a small group of Australian fans sitting a few rows in front of him were conspicuous in what was otherwise a sea of green. Even Waqar Younis said after the win that he hadn't expected anything close to that amount of support.

It will never be home for the Pakistan players, but over the coming months England could prove to be the next best thing.

RELATED LINKS

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sumair on (July 8, 2010, 2:21 GMT)

Pakistan cricketers are just jokers. they are overconfident by just winning t20 games.i know they can get carried away easily by emotions. they are mockery and worst then bangladesh.

Posted by kashif zia on (July 7, 2010, 19:08 GMT)

great to see guys clicking on right time,and jzt abt perfect start to the long long summer.....hope dey can surprise in tests aswell....

Posted by Imran on (July 7, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

Pakistan should have more matches played in the Uk rather then Dubai. The reason being is that Pakistan have a very big support up here also it will impact the british support in general with high quality cricket being played more often. Imagine Pak-ind series in uk wat an atmosphere.

Posted by ikhlaq on (July 7, 2010, 2:00 GMT)

wao wao & wao. boom boom you rocking keep doin good work. Hold your team toghether PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

Posted by Kamran on (July 6, 2010, 15:33 GMT)

I went to watch the game and there are no words to describe the atmosphere, it was just out of this world!!! The way Umar Akmal batted after 3 quick wickets fell and infront of this massive crowd was just UNBELEIVABLE!!! The guys a genius... I cant wait to watch another game, It would be nice if more games could be played in headingley aswell... PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!!!

Posted by afroze on (July 6, 2010, 14:44 GMT)

some of the supporters were behaving like hooligans, there is no need to throw bottles at the players or abuse them...

Posted by Faisal Shafiq on (July 6, 2010, 14:09 GMT)

We came close to win the games many a times, but this time we grabbed some half chance catches that made the difference. good Show Pakistan. Team sprit and perseverance is the key.

Posted by nono on (July 6, 2010, 13:59 GMT)

Same team, Same player except for 2 changes but the body laguage, enthusiam and approach of the Pakistan team has changed... first fight till last ball in last few months now converting those defeats into victories yet one but hope more victories will follow soon in the future... is it the result of wonderful captaincy???

Posted by ali on (July 6, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

hi i m ali from pk.i m also a big player,i suggest 2 afridi that change ur bowling idea in second match,last 4 overs should thown by gull & amir.bec yellow shurts will done their home work againt ajmal.thats y change we need.and also change the betting order first green shurts should go with kamran and butt then after see the situation.if vicket down early then send shahzaib otherwise let him down position and send umer or malk then after himself (boom0 & razzaq then shahzaib.ok. send me mail i m waitng aa

Posted by Adil 4m Riyadh on (July 6, 2010, 13:55 GMT)

Afridi can be the most successful and famous captain after Imran Khan.......Good Luck to Afridi & Co. Umar Akmal rocks !!!!!

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brydon Coverdale
Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.

All articles by this writer