Saad Shafqat September 21, 2010

The thing about Pakistan

Those of us used to lulling ourselves to sleep with thoughts of great Pakistani cricket feats have been having a hard time lately
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Those of us used to lulling ourselves to sleep with thoughts of great Pakistani cricket feats have been having a hard time lately. Even as recently as a few weeks ago, a silken Mohammad Yousuf late cut between gully and point, a Mohammad Asif in-cutter through bat and pad, or a bludgeoned pull into the stands by Shahid Afridi – or, for the nostalgic-minded, Imran Khan merely turning at the top of his bowling mark, Javed Miandad doing little more than taking guard, or Wasim Akram simply flashing a smile – would have been enough to sink even the most resistant insomniac fan into gentle stupor and a blissful night’s sleep.

As of the last three weeks, these images have not been coming as readily to mind as they once did. In their place, thoughts of misguided fast bowlers delivering suspicious no-balls and sleazy bookies counting a tableful of money have invaded the senses. Not that the betting scandal has been something particularly unusual. After all, off-the-record talk of match-fixing and spot-fixing has been going on in Pakistan cricket for a while. And as far as crises go, for the last few years Pakistan cricket has been going through one monster turn of events after another.

But the August 29 newsflash was spiced with enough salacious detail to take over the conversation completely. Still, any storm is expected to die down after a few days, and by now you would have thought the headlines would move on to an expectant wait, as the ICC appoints a tribunal and fact-finding begins. But a scandal-mongering British tabloid press is refusing to let go, and the sleaze and muck just keeps coming.

In Pakistan, most of us have learned that the most effective means of redirecting a cricket conversation is to play hard and play well. This lesson may have been lost on PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who keeps talking in public as if he is holding forth with cronies in a drawing room in Lahore, but the coach-captain combination of Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi, scarred veterans of multiple wars, knows it well.

Wounds were too fresh for any kind of fight back in the two-match Twenty20 series, but in the opening ODI in Durham the team walked out with purpose. That contest may have been lost by 24 runs, but it was clear that Pakistan had hit their stride. The next match at Headingley was stretched to the final over, but it was a 320-330 pitch and a target of 295 for a formidable English side led by an in-form Andrew Strauss was never going to be enough. Then came the victory at The Oval, one of Pakistan’s most reliable hunting grounds, and with it dreams of a victory to follow at Lord’s, and a decider at the Rose Bowl.

I’ll be honest. When the boundaries were coming thick and fast for Andrew Strauss and Steve Davies as they chased down 266 with a century opening stand last night, I had given up. Several other comrades, judging by the despondency of their text messages, had given up too. It was approaching midnight in Pakistan and a warm bed seemed far more inviting than fuming and stewing in frustration.

Then a wicket fell, and another. Sleep vanished. The ball began to reverse, boundaries dried up, and text messages began flying furiously. Eventually, Eoin Morgan stood between Pakistan and victory. Afridi had already dropped him, and this “little Irish genius” – as Osman Samiuddin described him in an urgent missive – was determined to cash in.

When Morgan top edged Shoaib Akhtar, I switched my television off. The ball rose alarmingly into the night sky, triggering a long-hidden reflex in my right thumb, which clamped down on the clicker. Even in the best of times, the idea of Pakistani fielders catching a skier is riddled with anxiety. On this occasion, it unleashed sheer panic.

After a few seconds, I turned the TV back on, but muted the sound and shielded my eyes from the screen. Holding my breath, I moved my hand just enough to allow a peek at the score line. From 211 for 7, it had changed to 211 for 8. Morgan was walking back and England were as good as gone. I realised I hadn’t indulged in these antics for many years, not since I was 15, which was thirty years ago.

That’s the deal with Pakistan. It may be a team that from time to time punches its fans in the stomach and kicks them in the face, but it is also a team that even in middle-age can make you feel like a teenager once again. Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shujaat Ali on November 6, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    This is an article i will forever quote.....brilliant and absolutely stunning. These are the words each and every die hard Pakistani fan wants to say to those who belittle our achievements.

  • tariq saeed on September 25, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    the UK runs on commerce not on heavy industry, unfortunately. the survival of the trash part of uk media is part of the commerce industry and thrives on the ill based imagination of the masses in this country. sadly for the sake of the UK economy, we have to live with this disease. the betting scandal is an anabolic steroid injection for the trash part of UK media.

  • Anonymous on September 25, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Posted by: Steve at September 22, 2010 12:33 PM

    Waterbuffalo wrote: "I do not understand how you can charge Pakistan for match -fixing in games that they won?"

    The Pakistani team is not being accused of match fixing, certain players are being accused of fixing events within a game, for example bowling a no ball at a certain time. The bowling of a no ball is unlikely to affect the final outcome of the match but it is very useful information to someone betting on the fact that it will be bowled.

    And when england loses 5-17, and loses 2 games in a row that does not seem suspicious to you? what's good for the goose is good for the gander my friend. Where is is the sting operation on the England team? I'd like to know? When the spot fixing 'scandal' was exposed I was very disappointed, because Asif and aamir are great bowlers, but the more I thought about it, the more I could see the hypocrisy, none of the English players are charged, you could lose 6-0 and yet you are all innocent.

  • Fraz on September 24, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    If they lose a match, its match fixing and if they win, its match fixing too. If the ball do not work for them, its because they intentionally do not make it to do and If they reverse swing the ball and thrash opposition batting, its ball tampering. If a catch is dropped by them then there must be something fishy behind it, but if an easy catch is put down by opposition then thats just part of the play. If umpire do not give away a clear cut lbw, or give an lbw decision when there is a big edge before ball hits batsman's pads or call a legal delivery a no ball or a ball that clearly flicked batsman's thigh as a wide ball then thats just a human error. I mean wtf has happened to this British media and people who are blindly supporting it by simply overlooking other things. Looks like they are on a campaign to hurt Pakistan cricket in any way they can either right or wrong. It feels like it is not a game of cricket, instead a cold political war.

  • zia bhat on September 24, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    wow, cant describe how happy i was reading this article...............the best article......

  • hammad on September 24, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    well said.Dnt what is the matter with english media.before all this i used to think that only our media is immature and infant.

  • tariq saeed on September 24, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    pakistan is the most exciting and talented team in the world. through the years, the most exciting players have emerged from pakistan. i have yet to see a player more stylish than zaheer abbas; a more innovative batsman than miandad; a greater leader than imran; a better left arm fast bowler than wasim; a more robust character than shoaib akhtar; just to remind that the man who revived the art of leg spin bowling( a dying art at that time) was qadir; and who can forget the graceful majid khan, probably the best player of fast bowling; the only player who used to read warne completely was salim malik. the list is endless. all pakistan needs is a sound leader, some sanity in the administration and luck. is that too much too ask?

  • tariq saeed on September 24, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    pakistan is the most exciting and talented team in the world. through the years, the most exciting players have emerged from pakistan. i have yet to see a player more stylish than zaheer abbas; a more innovative batsman than miandad; a greater leader than imran; a better left arm fast bowler than wasim; a more robust character than shoaib akhtar; just to remind that the man who revived the art of leg spin bowling( a dying art at that time) was qadir; and who can forget the graceful majid khan, probably the best player of fast bowling; the only player who used to read warne completely was salim malik. the list is endless. all pakistan needs is a sound leader, some sanity in the administration and luck. is that too much too ask?

  • Waqqas Hussain on September 24, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Excellent Excellent Article............... and Well Played English Team, English Umpires and English Media !!! Team Pakistan Better Luck next time.............. AS far as reverse swing is concered ...."ITS AN ART WHEN DONE in ASHES and BALL TEMPORING WHEN WE(PAKI) DO IT"

  • shah zaib khan on September 24, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    as a pakistani and as a true lover of my cricket team i have to say one thing to those who posts there comments specialy to pakistani fans please don't blame the world this is our system of our cricket board wich creates aal the bed things for our team we have honest peaple like younas khan but he is out of the side rashid lateef aamir suhail and rameez raja guys like them to be in the criket board but unfortunately they are not we want a strong system but unfortunately guys like aijaz but is the head of our cricket who dont know any thing about criket and i must say thanks to england because englang board give pakistan there grounds for Pakistan's home series aijaz but is a sick old man and he effects our relations with england cricket board if aamir aasif and but is really don the spot fixing no one will save them and if they are not guilty god will save them we need honest and good people in our cricket board

  • Shujaat Ali on November 6, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    This is an article i will forever quote.....brilliant and absolutely stunning. These are the words each and every die hard Pakistani fan wants to say to those who belittle our achievements.

  • tariq saeed on September 25, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    the UK runs on commerce not on heavy industry, unfortunately. the survival of the trash part of uk media is part of the commerce industry and thrives on the ill based imagination of the masses in this country. sadly for the sake of the UK economy, we have to live with this disease. the betting scandal is an anabolic steroid injection for the trash part of UK media.

  • Anonymous on September 25, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Posted by: Steve at September 22, 2010 12:33 PM

    Waterbuffalo wrote: "I do not understand how you can charge Pakistan for match -fixing in games that they won?"

    The Pakistani team is not being accused of match fixing, certain players are being accused of fixing events within a game, for example bowling a no ball at a certain time. The bowling of a no ball is unlikely to affect the final outcome of the match but it is very useful information to someone betting on the fact that it will be bowled.

    And when england loses 5-17, and loses 2 games in a row that does not seem suspicious to you? what's good for the goose is good for the gander my friend. Where is is the sting operation on the England team? I'd like to know? When the spot fixing 'scandal' was exposed I was very disappointed, because Asif and aamir are great bowlers, but the more I thought about it, the more I could see the hypocrisy, none of the English players are charged, you could lose 6-0 and yet you are all innocent.

  • Fraz on September 24, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    If they lose a match, its match fixing and if they win, its match fixing too. If the ball do not work for them, its because they intentionally do not make it to do and If they reverse swing the ball and thrash opposition batting, its ball tampering. If a catch is dropped by them then there must be something fishy behind it, but if an easy catch is put down by opposition then thats just part of the play. If umpire do not give away a clear cut lbw, or give an lbw decision when there is a big edge before ball hits batsman's pads or call a legal delivery a no ball or a ball that clearly flicked batsman's thigh as a wide ball then thats just a human error. I mean wtf has happened to this British media and people who are blindly supporting it by simply overlooking other things. Looks like they are on a campaign to hurt Pakistan cricket in any way they can either right or wrong. It feels like it is not a game of cricket, instead a cold political war.

  • zia bhat on September 24, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    wow, cant describe how happy i was reading this article...............the best article......

  • hammad on September 24, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    well said.Dnt what is the matter with english media.before all this i used to think that only our media is immature and infant.

  • tariq saeed on September 24, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    pakistan is the most exciting and talented team in the world. through the years, the most exciting players have emerged from pakistan. i have yet to see a player more stylish than zaheer abbas; a more innovative batsman than miandad; a greater leader than imran; a better left arm fast bowler than wasim; a more robust character than shoaib akhtar; just to remind that the man who revived the art of leg spin bowling( a dying art at that time) was qadir; and who can forget the graceful majid khan, probably the best player of fast bowling; the only player who used to read warne completely was salim malik. the list is endless. all pakistan needs is a sound leader, some sanity in the administration and luck. is that too much too ask?

  • tariq saeed on September 24, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    pakistan is the most exciting and talented team in the world. through the years, the most exciting players have emerged from pakistan. i have yet to see a player more stylish than zaheer abbas; a more innovative batsman than miandad; a greater leader than imran; a better left arm fast bowler than wasim; a more robust character than shoaib akhtar; just to remind that the man who revived the art of leg spin bowling( a dying art at that time) was qadir; and who can forget the graceful majid khan, probably the best player of fast bowling; the only player who used to read warne completely was salim malik. the list is endless. all pakistan needs is a sound leader, some sanity in the administration and luck. is that too much too ask?

  • Waqqas Hussain on September 24, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Excellent Excellent Article............... and Well Played English Team, English Umpires and English Media !!! Team Pakistan Better Luck next time.............. AS far as reverse swing is concered ...."ITS AN ART WHEN DONE in ASHES and BALL TEMPORING WHEN WE(PAKI) DO IT"

  • shah zaib khan on September 24, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    as a pakistani and as a true lover of my cricket team i have to say one thing to those who posts there comments specialy to pakistani fans please don't blame the world this is our system of our cricket board wich creates aal the bed things for our team we have honest peaple like younas khan but he is out of the side rashid lateef aamir suhail and rameez raja guys like them to be in the criket board but unfortunately they are not we want a strong system but unfortunately guys like aijaz but is the head of our cricket who dont know any thing about criket and i must say thanks to england because englang board give pakistan there grounds for Pakistan's home series aijaz but is a sick old man and he effects our relations with england cricket board if aamir aasif and but is really don the spot fixing no one will save them and if they are not guilty god will save them we need honest and good people in our cricket board

  • Nivek on September 24, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    @Asha.. No actually the statements you guys put up are hypocritical. Three of your players have been accused of spot fixing. There have been numerous ball tampering claims. Two guys were banned and then it was revoked. And to top it off your chairman comes out and makes unsubstantiated claims to mask his incompetency. Inspite of all this there are pakistan fans here who have the gob to bring India into all this. Listen, we may have bookies, but since Azharudin and co, no one has been accused. Whereas for you guys, its a routine issue and do you know why?? Its partly because of fans like some of here who put the blame on everyone else (umpires,England,India,BCCI,ICC etc) but their own team that the problem is still there. So I have no remorse in telling you guys to put your house in order and then blame India. Cheers.

  • medrar on September 24, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Dont worry guys, we have just hit the rock bottom, or may be the soft bottom. we will rise now "AND RISE WE WILL".

  • Amber on September 24, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Just one question... when a no ball is balled to deprive a batsman of his century it calls for one match ban. Yet when you do it to earn a few bucks... your team still wins.... you still break records... you still do your best for your team... it calls for a *life ban*? No, i do not understand this gentle man's game at all! (by and by! it has not yet been proven that the no ball was deliberate! it could still have been a *wet outfield* or *tactical* or so many other possible and more probable reasons than fixing!)

  • ahamed on September 24, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    pakistan team should take senior player for test and one day capital is fit for only youis khan t20 afridi capitan not for one day take good players to the team then team will uniform together any body do mistake take way one match change player i hope is youis khan a best senoir capitan of pakistan team iwill play good controlling all players t2o he become capitan won t20like youis khan every series he will win or draw if lost any dont worry next time he will face good confiet insallah youis khan make capitan for one day and test match....... he will do best.

  • Hannibal Lecter on September 24, 2010, 1:47 GMT

    Why everyone including cricinfo is so silent on Akhtar's alleged ball tampering issue. All these indiscipline characteristics are interrelated and sometimes it feels the whole group is rotten and worse they don't even care about heartbreak of the fans, and keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over gain. And to the fans...please stop being protective of the same people who are looting you big time. I mean imagine if there were no crooks in this team ..how well they represent the country..how many more games would they win...how much joy they would bring to the people..instead all they bring is shame and same thing is continued over and over.

  • AK on September 23, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    Well, when a team has nothing to lose, including shame, you expect the unexpected!

  • me on September 23, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    You feel like 15 year old?????.The article also seems like written by 15 year old who is little too excited about his cricket team.Come on Mr,please grow up.

  • Bis on September 23, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    Lots of emotion and passion, which is good. But not much reason here in the comments I am afraid. Speaking as a cricket lover first and an India supporter second, I want Pakistan's amazing cricketers to do well and I am sure that match fixing and spot betting are not problems confined to Pakistan's cricketers. At the same time there are really serious issues which need to be faced up to by people in many countries, including Pakistan - not only cheating, but illegal and unregulated betting, hypocritical religious fervour, suppression of minorities and underprivileged sections of the population, political corruption, socio-economic injustice and willing participation in imperialist power games for monetary gain. Until those problems are sorted out there will never be a "clean" cricket scene, that's for sure.

  • Adil on September 23, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

    1. English players and ECB are giving too much importance to Butt's comment. I would say they are OVER KILLING the issue. They know who they are, public backs them, just move on and don't spoil relations with PCB because of just one person. End of the day even the Pakistani fans who think Butt is wrong will not be amused by any legal action against Butt while he is "still" a PCB Chairman. LEARN FROM AFRIDI. What if he had actually involved police because of one player and asked ECB and other players to separate themselves from Trott?

    2. Why is it that there was a "planned" sting operation only against Pakistan? Its similar to them getting "randomly" picked at the airports "every time" they travel to western countries. Are all players of other nationalities clean as Jesus? All nations should be targeted, if at all. Match fixers should be punished but NOTW clearly breached privacy laws here and should be sued heavily.

  • Ex Pakistan Cricket Fanatic on September 23, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    At the end of the first series with Australia, my brother reckoned that the way Pakistan was playing showed CLEARLY that they were spot fixing. At the time, I lambasted him for even thinking such a thing. After the evidence has come out, I now see he may have been right. From being the most fanatical Pakistan cricket supporter ever, I have now given up even caring about the result. How can I want a team to win, knowing that there is a possibility that one or more players in the team are NOT trying to win? I think it's time we Pakistanis stopped putting our heads in the sand.

  • rizwaan khan on September 23, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    guys!!! tel u wat,i really loved dis article simply awesome!!! em a die hard pakistani cricket fan, really proud of you Pakistani guys~~

    cheers!! khan :)

  • sherri on September 23, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    It is very unfair the way thespot fixing matter has been handled. as far as Mr Butts' comments are concerned, I think we british are very good in posing that we can't understand the english spoken by asian people and very easily change the meaning of the whole statement as per our suitability. Shame.. Mr Butt was definately saying what his goodself heard or read what the bookies said. They are not his own words. If he is defending his team he is very rightly doing it and should be. Last night Pakistan lost, Afridis' cautious comments were very much parised by our friends, that is what the whole team should be doing..Be careful what words you utter..you are recorded all the time. Good Luck Pakistan Cricket team.

  • Bilal Kayani on September 23, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    How many times have so many of us said, "What a waste of time - never again!"?

    Yet, we flock back to our TVs and, in the cases of a fortunate few, stadiums the next time the team plays.

    Love 'em or hate 'em (although most of us never really hate them, it's more like a lovers' tiff), there is no substitute for the boys in green.

  • khan on September 23, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Heatlore should be a Coach of Pakistan team....... you know what i mean..................

  • Asha on September 23, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    @Nivek: I think we have established the fact that match fixing is immoral and wrong and i also want any player (even amir) found guilty to be banned for life. But then what about the indian bookies? Shouldn't there be a crack down on them. So a statement like "put your house in order" from an indian sounds very hypocritical.

  • krieket_fen on September 23, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    Bravo! Excellent article. I and fully agree - especially the last sentence. After South Africa hosted the MOST successful football World Cup ever, those were the words I wanted to shout at the british tabloids - they never gave us a chance. Zindabad Pakistan! (from a Safrican)

  • tania on September 23, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    m approaching 50 n while watching with my children i suddenly com alive from being frail n ill to jubilient n 15 again thats the effect of this fab game n fab team green lets hope the world puts its political animosities aside n lets grt cricket talent like amir continue world cup here we com

  • navdeep on September 23, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    when the whole match was scripted to book huge amnt of profit.itz more likely a thriller movie than a live cricket match.what a shame pakistani cricketers have brought to the game..nw ur so called great cricketer sir shaohaib akhtar is accused of ball tampering again..ridiculous...

  • freefan on September 23, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    I’ll be honest. When the boundaries were coming thick and fast for Akmal and Hafeez as they chased down 256 with a 60+ opening stand last night, I started to feel like a 15 yr old as several other friends judging by the despondency of their text messages, had felt that too. It was approaching midnight in Pakistan and a warm bed suddenly seemed far more inviting than fuming and stewing in frustration. Howzzat?

  • Venkat on September 23, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    I switched my television off. The ball rose alarmingly into the night sky, triggering a long-hidden reflex in my right thumb, which clamped down on the clicker.

    hahahah. This is exactly what I do when India are playing a tight game. That night I was up well past my bed time willing Pakistan to beat the South Africans (or should I say the English?). What a team! What excitement! Such a talented team. Only wish the administration in Pakistani cricket was stronger.

  • Farooq Hussain on September 23, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    Good article....Pakistani teams inconsistency makes them unpredictable hence u never know what can happen when...They will beat anybody one day but on the second day they will loose as if they are the weakest team in the world....Cricket is not merely about talent...It is about discipline, concentration, respect which always lacked in Pakistan..only Imran could manage that to some extent...I believe it is the begnining of reaching an end to Pakistani cricket....Bye Bye PCB..

  • Tehsin on September 23, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    wonderful article ....We love every belonging of our country blindly ....

  • Ali on September 23, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    @Steve Butler.... dont need your sympathies dude.....and yeah "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are!!!!"

  • RC on September 23, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    Just who are you kidding man? Enough of this "Pakistan cricket is wildly talented" nonsense. Are you telling us the other teams lack talent? And talent alone is little use if not tempered with hard labour, discipline and a bit of morality, kind sir. If your players were indeed so talented, you'd be at the top of the pile.... all the time. Let's put this to rest once and for all, the Pakistan cricket team is not the most talented one, it's certainly the most stupid and indisciplined, conspiracy or not.

  • KD on September 23, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    No doubt Pakistan's bowling was par excellence, yet the fact remains that the team bowling under lights has a massive advantage. See 5th ODI results, Pakistan lost 10 wickets for 72 runs( 63 for no loss to 135 all out).. All I want to say is that no doubt this bowling attack has teeth, but it cannot be compared to the powerhouses of the yesteryears..

  • Jacob Sahayam on September 23, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    Now that pakistan have lost the series and are going back home empty-handed, how are you feeling Saad, like a 15 year old or 51 years?

  • Hina Khokhar on September 23, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    Nice Article......!to all the indians here who love poking their nose into our cricket......better go and help reconstruct ur collapsed bridge at cmw.....u guys have much harder issues to b dealt wid at home....iTS becoming an INTERNATIONAL SHAME for U INDIANS!

  • Steve Butler on September 23, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    I see a lot of Pakistanis are taking a pride in the statement "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are" - At this moment, there seem to be only one force of evil, and that is Pakistan.

    Shame that they still want to live in the world of denial. I have no sympathies for them. Will be glad if they are not allowed to tour England ever again.

  • Raffa on September 22, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    Was this final game fixed? who knows.....sigh....but if I was a bookie writing a script it would go something like this. Pak wins last two matches and series is tied two-two, it is the final game...meaning high stake. England scores 250 odd..achievable one would say..chances of visitors winning are high...the odd goes up...Openers come out and hit aggressive 50-60 full of boundaries...odd is now even higher.. and then comes the collapse..the dreaded collapse..people hit in the air..run like a blind hen..missed straight balls...done deal..someone, somewhere just made a lot of money honey.

  • Rahul on September 22, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    The cheaters are loosing as I write. The problem with the Pakistanis is that they keep blaming "forces of evil" ' whoever & wherever you are" - one doesn't need to have a magic lamp to find the evil among yourself!!! 3 have been caught & 8 to go. The ring leader is the PCB chairman

  • Ayaz Noor on September 22, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    wonderful article, its very depressing to see ECB is saying that comments by Butt lowered their morale and thats why they lost the 4th ODI, as if our Pakistani players don't have any emotions at all. our players were blamed, humiliated, suspended and interrogated for NOTHING and ours is the country facing the most damaging natural catastrophe and yet we don't get to win the emotional game! just brilliant.

    loved the phase "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are."

  • Nivek on September 22, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    @Asha.. The bookies may be Indian, but it is the moral responsibility of your players to stay away from them if they are patriotic pakistanis.

  • Cric_Analyzer on September 22, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    I'll be fair and unbiased. It's both ways. It takes two to tango. The blind trust on Pakistani players by their fans with a firm belief that they are being wrongly implicated and that there is a conspiracy going on against them is not right. Similarly, the self righteous and holier than thou attitude of former England players and English fans with a firm belief that their cricketers are saints is also wrong. Also I would appreciate if Indians stay away from this conspiracy. I am amazed to see the calls of so many Indians to ban Pakistan. I wonder why are they so desperate to get Pakistan out of world cricket. I wonder why Australians and English fans and administrators are so desperate? Whatever Pakistanis are saying, not a single one has suggested to ban the Indian and Australian players for their role in match fixing in IPL. That's probably because, we Pakistanis although very sentimental, never take it personally when we are beaten unlike others who act like soar losers.

  • Azam on September 22, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    yes, pakistan is such an interesting team which can make a series an exciting one and spoil a game as important as a world cup final(remember 1999 WC final Aus vs Pak). Very well reflected in the article...

  • Asha on September 22, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    I just don't get one thing...why are all the self righteous indians coming here and telling us to put our house in order when they are home to the biggest bookie circle in the world. There are two sides of a every picture. You cannot burn one side and save the other. What are indian authorities doing to stop these bookies from operating all out in the open and prevent them from contacting and bribing crickers. I'm not justifying or siding with any Pakistani player involved in match fixing...but i seriously don't understand the way ICC is dealing with this.

  • A. Amir on September 22, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Its about 45 minutes for the next battle to begin. I am in my office sitting at my desk. Its nerve wrecking and I am taking my chance for sneaking at the scorecard. If my boss finds me watching the score I can get in trouble, but it’s worth it. After all I am a proud Pakistani and Cricket runs in our blood. Lets fight back and give English media another chance to mourn their defeat. Great work Pakistani Squad and great work Saad keep up the good work. Its been a while since I have read such a great article.

  • desi_fan on September 22, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Nostalgic, but well written... what is missing for the Pak team is a leader like Imran Khan: world-class abilities in all formats of the game and clearly above board; gives 100% himself and demands nothing less from his teammates.

  • Usman on September 22, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan...

    But I still want to know why ICC suspended Butt, Amir & Asif without solid proof? and Why isn't Mohammad Amir nominated in any of the upcoming ICC award categories? If you ask me, ICC is misusing their authority and needs to clean up their act before people who enjoy fair play start protesting against them.

  • Steve on September 22, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Waterbuffalo wrote: "I do not understand how you can charge Pakistan for match -fixing in games that they won?"

    The Pakistani team is not being accused of match fixing, certain players are being accused of fixing events within a game, for example bowling a no ball at a certain time. The bowling of a no ball is unlikely to affect the final outcome of the match but it is very useful information to someone betting on the fact that it will be bowled.

  • Khuram Chohan on September 22, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    1992 Poms got trashed by Pak bowling , it was declared ball tampering 2005 Ashes suddenly it became an art. take that evil forces :) Why Australia or South Africa weren't banned when Warne , Waugh and Gibbs got busted. Pakistan had the guts to ban Saleem Malik for life Typical poms, double standards I look forward to see English team get trashed in Ashes in Australia and Guess what i will be attending the Boxing day test :) Aussie Aussie Aussie oie oie oie :)

  • Talha on September 22, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Excellent article, true reflection of Pakistan Cricket.

  • DP on September 22, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    As a Pakistani i want all the players found guilty banned and Ijaz Butt handed over to an old home somewhere....

    It's disturbing how he could have the gall to accuse the english team based on what he heard from bookies!??????

    The whole situation could have been handled much better by a half incompetent board.

    That said, it's game on tonight!!!!!

  • raza on September 22, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    Hats off to you, at least we have one writer who says it all, hopefully abbasi and osman will learn soon too. No one saying nothing when Trott hit Wahab, incredible isnt it !!

  • Raheel Nizamani on September 22, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    Very precise account of the environment we have in Pakistan during a cricket match

  • Ghulam Ahmed on September 22, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    What an inspirational and touching article. Great man keep it up

  • Tariq on September 22, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Great article. Hopefully Pakistan should win today as (from some of the comments here) England have no chance against Pakistan if bookies are not influencing the game. Let’s not get carried away by the “spot fixing” controversy, as there are black sheep in all cricketing outfits, unless some nations have transcended the domain of human frailties and entered the realm of angels. I wonder why all of Pakistan’s tours to England since since I can remember are mired in one controversy or the other, whereas other tours are just about cricket. Where Butt being a buffoon is unquestionable, the magnanimity of media in England is equally questionable. One hopes Pakistan does not have to tour England any time soon as there are better neutral venues for our home series which do not entail taking 3 teams for the tour: one to play, second to handle the negative publicity and third to deal with the legal fallout.

  • LEGENDWAR on September 22, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Beautifully Judged.....

    I wish there was no corruption in(side) PCB....which is almost never possible....

    Unfortunately, we have the bad leadership...

  • syed furqan on September 22, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    I read all comments.Some people from england says ICC should ban pakistani team.Bcoz Ijaz Butt blam england team.where r u when ur media blame paistani team.still police cant prove allegations.its a victory of pakistani players.its sure that there is a lack of management in PCB.We are also thanks ECB who provide their ground.But it does not mean that some english people blame us.so more careful we are pakistani.Who can win aganist any team in world.So dont says Ban on pakistani team.Afridi is a true leader.In his captiency we lost some close matches but i enjoy vicitory.rock afridi.Great afridi.

  • Mark on September 22, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    @ bystander Very Well said. Pakistan's got serious issues to worry about off the cricket field maybe their fans should focus on them. Otherwise Pakistan might end up joining the likes of Zimbabwe or south africa into the cricket wilderness. Maybe if Pakistan fans stopped bitching about England their cricketers, fans and media. Maybe they can begin to put their house in order. But judging by the jingoistic comments fans especially pakistani. That aint gonna happen for a long time yet. Denying England cricket fans and a genuine cricket fans like myself a chance to see a talented and exciting team in action on the world stage because they haven't got SXXt together off it.

  • Khuram Chohan on September 22, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    awsome articae Sir, 150 years it took cricket to come up with 8 teams, and "forces of evil" want to ban the team who gave you revers swing or according to "forces of evil" ball tampering :) Doosra or according to "forces of the evil" chuking, the most exciting fast bowlers ever or most inovative spinners. Above all Imran Khan a legend in his league. So "forces of evil" or Sir Ian Botham or Malcome Speed with all due respact i have to call it the most idiotic idea ever. The excitment machine of world cricket needs to be there to make this game intrestng. One last defeat to English team and i am sure some one from England or Australia or NZ might want to ban Pakistan from all the sports of the world :) you never know what "forces of evil" are planning next....

  • ebrahiem on September 22, 2010, 9:25 GMT

    im am a south african and is a die hard pakistan cricket suporter.the artical you wrote is a brilliant peice.i follow the cricket on my cellphone and felt the way you did logging on and off hoping pakistan would win.hope the guys do well today to clinch the series

  • Yasir on September 22, 2010, 9:25 GMT

    Great Article. Yes, Pakistan Team is unpredictable and this fact is its advantage and disadvantage at the same point.

  • rabiakhan on September 22, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    just bec indian and english players r clever enough not to get caught for match fixing and pakistani simpletons r framed into by a garbage news paper to earn millions the whole team is prnounced as cheaters . Remember pakistani cricketers dont earn as much as other cricketers around the world . even if they get a chance to earn like playing for IPL the indian board does'nt allow pak cricketers to enter india. The whole world, ICC and all the boards just watched even the cricketers were silent then, and now just bec some news paper has successfully framed young velnerable pakistani cricketers, toungues have started moving.

  • ali imran kazmi on September 22, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    pakistan will win today inshallah.....england is under lot of pressure

  • M. Afzal Baig on September 22, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Great Article! Beautifully put it in words. Thanks to the commercialization phenomenon, Cricket is no more a noble’s game. With the entertainment element such as shorter versions, dance, post match night parties and players giving 100% in matches for franchises and pulling out from the national squads etc. Money rules rather than the game of Cricket. ICC’s role as governing body is questionable and biased.

  • ali mesum on September 22, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    I've read the article and many comments(yes i do'nt have a social life) and i have come to the conclusion; "to ban or not to ban..." no! no! not pakistani cricket, but to ban 'Butt face' from talking in public. let cricket do the talking and entertaining, if i wanted a fat idiot to entertain me I'd rather watch Laural n Hardy reruns

  • Harit Shah on September 22, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    I fully agree with 'bystander' - and it is typefied by all the jingoistic comments made here by Pakistanis who simply refuse to acknowledge the simple fact that NO MATTER WHAT, whenever any suspicions or allegations of match fixing, spot fixing, etc come up, it is a Pakistani cricketer who is inevitably blamed!! Now these people must stop thinking that it is a 'global conspiracy to defame and belittle Pakistani cricket' becoz thats just a whole load of gibberish! Learn to look inwards and reform yourselves, a simple but powerful suggestion and one that is alien to 99% of Pakistanis, sorry to say but that is the truth and the truth hurts! There is no smoke without fire and I will not be the least bit surprised or shocked if any of the 3 Paki players charged with spot fixing are proven guilty (maybe more). And here is just one of the many nonesensical comments posted by a Paki, 'Ahmed': I have no doubts in my mind that England has still not absorb the crushing defeat in WC 1992! Typical!

  • ghulam on September 22, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    last paragraph very well written very true

  • Ali Akbar on September 22, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Beautifully written....well done!

  • Cric Fan on September 22, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    I must say it was a really wonderful article. However, has anyone noticed that since the second controversy arose during the ODI's, Pakistan has suddenly started playing improved cricket, specially Kamran Akmal who seems a changed playeer. Once you stop deliberately trying to fix a situation or get yourself out, your natural ability again comes out, so doesnt this give a message???

  • AAK on September 22, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    VERY ACCURATE ARTICLE, THE PAKISTAN TEAM IAS A TEAM THATR CAN TURN ANY KIND OF PREDICTION ON ITS HEAD WHEN THEY WANT IT. I MUST AGREE FULLY THAT WHEN WE WIN NO ONE SAYS THAT THE OTHER TEAM TOOK BRIBES BUT WHEN WE LOSE THE WHOLE WEST STATRT TO JUMP AROUND LIKE MONKEYS. YOU CAN SEE HOW THE WHOLE ENGLAND TEAM THE BOARD AND THE THE MEDIA ARE RUNNING AROUND LIKE SQUIRRELS WHEN THEY FOUND THE SPOTLIGHT ON THEM. ON THE OTHER HAND WHEN OUR TEAM WAS BEING INVESTIGATED EVERY ONE WAS ASKING THE TEAM TO BR BANNED EVEN THE STUPID BOTHAM WAS VOICING HIS SILLY OPINION. ANY WAY THE BRITISH HAVE ALWAYS LOOKED DOWN ON THE ASIAN COUNTRIES AS SALVES FROM TIME IMMEMOPRIAL AND STILL THINK THAT THEY RULE THE WORLD. THEIR NOSES ARE ALWAYS UP WITH PRIDE AND THEY HAVE THIS ARROGANCE THAT THEY ARE NEVER WRONG AND VERY HONEST. IN MY CAREER OF 35 YEARS WORK I HAVE NOT SEEN MORE CHEATS AND LIARS THAN THE ENLISH PEOPLE. I THINK EJAZZ BUTT GAVE THEM SMACK RIGHT IN THE FACE.

  • Rashid Shah on September 22, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Saad, Brilliant articulation of your emotions at the end of your article, I go through same emotions while watching Pakistan play. You are absolutely right when you say that “they make you feel like a teenager again” at times.

  • Rashid on September 22, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Yes it is very Great Article,

  • Pir Qaisar Shah on September 22, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    Vow! what an article. My brother left alone and told me it is finished after 100 runs opening stand. i too was disappointed but still an old fan of this unpredictable side since 1979. i told to brother wait for a wicket fall then i will bet with you. congratulation to the Pak cricket team for this win, it give us pleasure more than a world cup win after such a crisis. One thing more ECB did not say anything about Pak players and board so what stupidity done by Butt. lets ICC and ASCU should handle the situation. ECB did a lot for this tour, unfortunately the UK tabloids damage the tour and specially the 4th ODI. We are isolated we should be cooperative with other boards for the success of future tours of Pakistan. Again congratulation to the Pakistan team for such pleasure then given to us

  • Malick on September 22, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    I guess this mental repairing was required and fuel was provided by the English Media- Pakistani team was unlucky in fiorst two games . Unfortunately some umpiring decisions went against them. Neverthelss since begining of the series the performance Curve of Pakistani team went upward as against to English terms downward performnance Curve. To me, keeping in view the recent performance trend Pakistan will easily win by more then 50 runs

  • KamzaBaloch on September 22, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    After reading an article i would just say...Its not really easy to get rid of Pakistan by putting allegation....its an unpredictable team ever...Keep it up Pakistan..& prove ICC wrong...Good Luck

  • Anonymous on September 22, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    Pakistani team is the best and remarkable team.Please accompanied with Pakistan team in this trouble condition.and no one person is not present in this world who make mistakes its proverb i.e human is the idol of mistakes.

  • Arsalan Zai on September 22, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    The two wins were as amazing as the article. Really love it.

    But lets face it people .... management of PCB is a mess. Ijaz Butt must be removed as soon as possible. He has not handled all these allegations well. He should have been filing suet against the newspaper (if the investigations prove Pakistani's to be clear). The mismanagement of ICC should also be highlighted at every forum. But hitting at ECB and English players was not right.

    Pakistani players should learn the lesson that the management of their board is not able enough to handle the affairs of cricket. So they must look after them selves. Because at the end of the day its their reputation at stake. I surely hope and pray that all these allegations are proven to be wrong and pride of Pakistan cricket is restored.

    And one thing more …… the world is NOT conspiring against Pakistan

    Peace!

  • Gary MacLennan on September 22, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    A wonderful article. What is it about cricket that it inspires such literary excellence? This piece deserves to stand along side the best of Cardus and Arlott. Thank you. Go Pakistan! Gary

  • Rizwan Qaiser on September 22, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Goosebumps sir. The sheer vividness in which you described Pakistan Cricket, speaks volumes about whats in our hearts.

    Standing Ovation...serious.

  • Anonymous on September 22, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    If you want to rid the game from corruption go after the Indian bookies who have made this game so dirty ever since the corruption money seaped into the Indian cricket. Every scandal and allegation in the world cricket leads back to Indian bookies. Catch and punish the bookies before going after anyone else. It's a shame.

  • Faraz on September 22, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    In times like these. This is just we want. hats off to you Saad.

  • Shabut on September 22, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    How many cricket teams in the world can match the Pakistan team? The answer is resounding none, the sheer unpredictablility and brilliance is just amazing and highly entertaining. With all the off the field issues and scandals around it's amazing that they can still pull off something like this. This is an excellent rebuttal and smack on the face of the "Scandal Mongering" British media. For those who want to throw Pakistan out of World cricket are the biggest losers. Let's see what kind of twist they bring in next. Game on, go Pakistan and go absolutely bezzark tomorrow and light up the British skies for the last time this summer.

  • Mahmood on September 22, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Brilliant Article Samir...you speak exactly what was going into the mind of a Pakistani during last few weeks and during the game at Lords.

    I didn't switch the TV off when Morgan skied the ball as I was too panicked to even push a red button but there was a devine intervention as my Sky Sports signal scrambled at that moment...hell, even satellites couldn't take the heat of that moment ;)

  • umer nawaz on September 22, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    a very very nice article. its the voice of our hearts

  • Alam on September 22, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Loved your article...true by performing well we can shutup the uninvited criticism.

  • Emad Hasan Qazi on September 22, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Beautifully told story about pakistan cricket.. My heart bets with it

  • Anonymous on September 22, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    England should be investigated how and why thye lost this match and don't leave out Pakistan they should be investigated by ICC how they ended up winning. It was most suspicious game I ever saw in my life.

    I am not paranoid

  • S.A Zaidi on September 22, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    calm down guys... just calm it down.. we just won 2 matches, not the world cup.. n what if we lost tonight???? then the blame game starts again .. n you'l be the 1st ones who blame pak team for throwing a match ..

  • S.A Zaidi on September 22, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    calm down guys... just calm it down.. we just won 2 matches, not the world cup.. n what if we lost tonight???? then the blame game starts again .. n you'l be the 1st ones who blame pak team for throwing a match ..

  • Adeel on September 22, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Talking about allegations and not responding correctly and in a timely fashion is the problem faced by Pakistan. In each and every department we loose businesses due to this disability.

    Each time our team visited England in the past has faced the biased media which always try to derail the cricketers efforts. However we have always failed to appoint a very strong team that can face and answer the media in the most appropriate way. In this case they should not expose their players to face media rather answer everything as a team and tackle the situation more responsibly. The players are there to play so let them do their job.

    One could imagine our communication skills by the Chief of Cricket's latest comments. I don't care if those were twisted by the media if the media was taken head on by an equally effective team.

    Wishing Pakistan a series win... that is desperately needed for preparations of the World Cup.

  • Ahsan Rehman on September 22, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    For the first time I read an article on cricinfo.. and throughout the article the selection of words and co relation with Pakis was awesome. All those When Morgan played it in the air, there was abundance of hope in Mike Atherton's voice, as he called the name of M. Yousuf,but miracelously Yousuf grabbed it, the fielder from long on came to grab it as he wasnt sure about Yousuf also... All in all very well done sir.. Hope todays match will bring the best out of You.. God bless U

  • Syed on September 22, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    hahaha...I love you....you are such a fan

  • sikandar khan on September 22, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    thanks for writing our hearts willings wow love you Pakistan cricket we couldn't have asked for more a punch back answer to England and English media well done Pakistan MAY ALLAH KEEP YOU ON THIS TRACK.

  • Rashid on September 22, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    You have to think if Butt was and is drinking expressively, it is a shame that he is running PCB.ICC and BCI is against Pakistan their job becomes so easy with the help of Butt, England was almost a friend and we are loosing it for a drunk.Let Imran be the the head of PCB.

  • Adnan Kirmani on September 22, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Hugely uplifting piece of writing, the cricket this summer involving Pakistan has been fascinating. You captured the emotions of the crazed Pak cricket fans.

    @Asif - I love the Strawberry Vanilla comparison, wild Mango Cherry Passion Gellato kicks butt.

  • Anonymous on September 22, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are.Aftr these words nthing elae is left to say... excellent article..

  • Ahmad on September 22, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    I have no doubts in my mind that England has still not absorb the crushing defeat in WC 1992. It is only England where whenever Pakistan has played it has faced problems, wrong allegations and cheap acts. Where is the report of great scottland yard against Amir, Asif and Butt? When England can't win fair and square it involves its media and start this rubbish. The fact is England is a third class team which has no record out side England

  • Usman on September 22, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    I just can’t believe it that how these Gooraas react. few days before they just banned 2 best players of Pakistan without any evidence and now they feel bad about the same allegation on them? Mr. ECB Chairman now you know how it feels? In fact they should be Sued and ICC Chairman should be fired..and surprisingly that was not the first time..they did the same with Pakistan (I don’t remember the match exactly) but it was in England Inzi was the captain and that stupid Australian Umpire blamed Pakistan for Ball tampering..which was never proved..we were punished for that allegation which was never proved but did you punish the Umpire? did he said sorry to Pakistani Team? Nope , Never ...so this is not the first time we are facing this biased behavior from Englishmen ... in fact they cannot digest that it’s their game but we always have the players better than them...cheap bunch of hypocrites. Other problem is, Indian board is more stronger than Aussi or ECB,they cant mess with Indians.

  • Ghufran Ahmad on September 22, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    An article well written and reflects exactly what every Pak fan feels.

    To me Pak cricket is blessed - no matter who plays, no matter how big a name is banned, injured or sidelined, the talent is replaced by a better one - Pak cricket remains as exiting and mercurial. Shoaib Malik gone Pak survived, Amir Asif banned, results still exiting and same, Gul single handedly replaces both of them. I am just praying for best performances in the World cup. Last two World cups were boring for Pakistanis. Allah bless Pak team.

  • bystander on September 22, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    What a stupid article. Just because Pak won couple of matches, it does not make the evils of match fixing go away. The author is just another jingoistic Pakistani who seems to be looking for positives when there is none. Its pretty shameful - his attempt to dodge the issue facing international cricket and drum up support from his equally myopic countrymen. I am not sure how crickinfo can even publish articles like this.

  • ahamed sharif on September 22, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    When an australian takes drugs he says "my mother gave that"

    When an australian is in a fix he says "I was give weather information"

    The players from Indian sub-continent should learn that.

  • aman on September 22, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.................sleeping Giants Pakistan...........

  • Fahad on September 22, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    Extremely well written article seems like reading a full suspense thriller :)

    This is PAKistan every time we goes down we comes up stronger and harder and INSHALLAH today we ll win and prove our self again.

  • Fahad on September 22, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Extremely well written article seems like reading a full suspense thriller :)

    This is PAKistan every time we goes down we comes up stronger and harder and INSHALLAH today we ll win and prove our self again.

  • Hariprasanth on September 22, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    My Respects,

    This is a very good article, exact phrasing and layman quality of English, earning high regards, but You have mentioned only a little about the great hero of Pakistani cricket Mr. Ijaz Butt, who likes to take the heroics and the dedication of Mr. Waqar Younis and his team. I am not Ijaz Butt so I say hats off and great salute to the Pakistani team for bringing back the faith on them kept by the cricket fans not only in Pakistan but worldwide.

  • ankit huss on September 22, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    excellent article...one of the best i ever read....i thought only i follow such superstitious antics....but now i'm happy that i'm not alone...now a word or two for Pakistan cricket team...yes, u r right...there is something extraordinary about this team....just when you think it's all over and the team is going to be doomed,it comes back from nowhere and pulls off miracles...best wishes to Afridi n boys for the final ODI....

  • Syed Sabir Shah on September 22, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    Saad Shafqat.....you have absolutely amazingly described the feelings of millions of Pakistanis....the PEEK-A-BOO scenario was so horrendously on target that I could not resist laughing outloudLY while reading it..LOLLL...it is so very close to reality and so very Pakistani-trait....i guess this is how our Pak cricket team made us grow up with....never know what to do with them, kill them or crown them.......for at times you feel like smashing every bone in every players' body, at other time you simply have emotions you can't believe you have for the same players you were bent on sending to Devil's den....what other team can perform under such a pressure (we already saw Strauss's baby cry upon one allegation) that currently Pak team is facing? I would say none...Only if we have competent Administrators at places, our team's image would not have been so tarnished.....whatever happens at the Rose Ball, I would say well done Afridi and Waqar for putting the show that your team did!!!

  • riz on September 22, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    Pakistan cricket will again have Golden days, pakistan have great cricketing talent, Rightly Imran Khan said we have to cleanup system at higher level,cricket will itself cleanup. Keepup playing good and possitive cricket,Few are biased against pakistan cricket, they dont want to recognise pakistan talent in cricket.day by day pakistan's rating in cricket will grow, you will watch different picture in World cup, may be winners, i have no doubt.We all have to agree if any body or player will harm or try to harm cricket,strict action should be taken,such action should be made example for others,and in future no player must think of indulging in match fixing of any form.ultimately cricket will be victorious.

  • UM on September 22, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    Lovely Article ...and look at the response... all have posted lovely comments.... Pakistan will always do well when they have positive approach and high confidence... remember Sharjah Matches in 90's... england series of 87, 92 n 96... WC 92... so many other occasions... hope we will win today and let English Media suffer once again as they did in 92...

    regards UM

  • Harin on September 22, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan. Why ain't Pakistan threaten to sue the papers who are accusing them at every turn ? Do that and they will shut up. This is all a conspiracy to put down the enthusiasm of Asian teams just before he World Cup. Now the English and even Indian newspaper went on to say that Dilshan was involved in the last 20/20 Worldcup betting, where as he failed only in the final. HOw about players who failed more often ? Like other English and Indian players ? Ain't they under suspicion ? Some of the players who are suddenly retiring from English cricket, why are they retiring ? Any clue. Remember Joyner the 100m champion with a astonishing run and a astonishing world record for the 100m. Well she died very early in her life in her 30s due to a problem related to drugs. Let us all keep these in mind and look out for the so called saints and investigate all cases

  • Tanveer Malik on September 22, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    I wonder about the logic which formed the basis of the investigations against the Pakistan team, for a possible spot fixing scandal. It is based upon a news paper report where it was `predicted` a particular pattern of scoring in over nos. 39&40 of Pakistan Inns. It reminds me of a similar instance during the Pak-Aus test series, during the test where Pakistan was required to score about 450 runs, and were cruising along having scored around 200 runs for the loss of couple of wicks - if my memory serves me right. The person commentating on CricInfo told us about the prediction of one of their statistician having predicted a score of 292 for Paksitan. He used some sort of Statistical Analysis and Pakistan ultimately could score only 289. Was that match also fixed? think ICC should be investigating that as well. If that test was not fixed then is it not possible to predict certain pattern of scoring during a certain period of the match?

  • ali on September 22, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    I love pakistani cricket. The are tooo good its mindblasting

  • Mark on September 22, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Oh you Pakistani Supporters are just as bad as the Aussies. Bithin about England. Botham is right you guys should be banned especially after Butts comments. The fact that England played well this summer and thrashed you guys you guys can't handle it. First of all England cricket establishment and team were gracious enough to host you guys especially after your country is under direct assault from the international community and falling apart under this onslought, don't take it out on the England cricketers for that! You have a problem with the allegations of match fixing go and take it up with Rupert Murdoch's Sun and News of the world newspapers. Personally England team have a good reason after Butts comments not to tour Pakistan or allow you guys to tour England. Its not the 11 England Cricketers fault that your country is under a vicious evil assault by the international community. I have sympathy for that. But Cricket and players are seperate, so don't go accusing England Team.

  • Mullah on September 22, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    Why,it is so hard for Pakistani's to understand that

    - their bowlers did something which was predetermined - marked money was found in the captain's room

    Please stop being ignorant. We know your bowlers are very good but only now we also know that they can stoop so low for money.

  • Obaid on September 22, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    I was just texting with some friends and not interested in the match....but when the Req.RR reaches towards 6 and wkts started falling I was feeling 15 again :).....as each wicket fell I jumped with screams of joy and my sister who was sitting there watching a movie on my laptop would just jump when she would hear me scream after every 5 minutes:)

    Yes I was 15 again too :)

  • GregFrom Oz on September 22, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    I love reading the comments from some of you Pakistanis. Oh yes... the whole world is conspiring to bring Pakistan down. What a joke. Are you guys serious? Do you even hear what you are claiming? The cricket world is conspiring against poor little Pakistan. Do you realise the rest of the cricket world think you guys are insane? Can't you be mature enough to accept that some of your players are dirty cheats and your Chairman is just playing a rearguard action. The Poms should kick your team out of the country and kick themselves for being naive enough to think that they could do something positive for you backward third world people.

  • Owais on September 22, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    why is it everyone keeps saying england team was mentally upset so they didnt perform well in that way pakistani players shouldnt be even able to move the about of stress they have had and there players being banneded without any proof if this was an English player every paper in the world would had gone against icc saying a single word without proof Oh yeah it has to be rtue bcs the SUN said it

  • Khurram on September 22, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Great article, touched my heart and I really felt sobbed after reading it. As cricket is in everyone's blood in Pakistan, after losing right of playing cricket on the HOME grounds and winning after a long time, it all contributed in emaotional outburst. Has anyone noticed that it all started after the appointment of Sharad Powar as ICC chief, and Ijaz Butt meeting with hime resulted in a such a floundered press conference, ICC are slowly eating Pakistani cricket like termites. I have seen domestic cricket myself in the world in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, England and South Africa and found everywhere the neoplasm of match fixing and spot fixing. Everyone is involved then why target only us?

  • Asif khan on September 22, 2010, 2:55 GMT

    Well any where in the world u goes u will never find team like pakistan they never play cricket like a game they always play it like war beyound u may see u will know the resion (pakistan and india is the best examle) as well as (the ashes seies) now in feauture it will be pakistan and england.the pakistani fielding is a little lazy i would say they will have to improve this if want to win the game on the other side if u all guyes note one thing Afridi one the field when batting or fielding or even in the dressing room he alwayes give corrage to his players and these thing the english commentaters seems like a joke they cant see pakistani teem as a one unit thats why they jalouse from them alwayes lafghing against pakistan team if u have such correge so today its ur chance but INSHALLAHA pakistan will succed as we all know british have agreat past but noooooo future and pakistan have agood past and best future lets all prey for pakistan to win this match thanks ALLAHAHAFIZE

  • Ali on September 22, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    Great article...Couldn't have put it better....Even though you know that behind the scenes a few team members may be corrupt, when you see Pak team play, you know that all the corruption or evil in the world will not be able to mask the pride, passion and excitement, the team makes us feel..Salaams from Melbourne.

    P.S. we were up till 5 past in the morning watching but boy was it worth it !!

  • Awais on September 22, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    my comment is for ppl who think pakistani supporters r in denial. if we were in denial we'd support ijaz butt's comments about england team but u can see everywhere around u that no pakistani agrees to butt.we r only happy that now others know how it feels when u r accused.if we were living in denial we wouldnt question our players n make them suffer for what they did in australia.shoaib malik, yousuf, kamran akmal, they r all under probation n if they do anything wrong again trust me public will throw them out.asif was banned by PCB (not ICC) in doping scandal.salim malik n atta-ur-rahman were proven guilty in match fixing n were banned for life.we know our problems n we will handle them but we wont let a peeping tom kinda newspaper to decide our fate.tell them to keep spying on WAGS and other female celebrities coming out of london nite clubs becoz we know our faults n we will fix them.go buy doctrove for tomorrows match so strauss can score again n let us sing for afridi eleven

  • asyed on September 22, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    Well the way I see it is quite simple. All England was doing is trying to play mind games. Just take a step back and try to observe what has done since Pakistan started this tour. 1st they win against Australian. Then after loosing 1st test against England they bounced back and win 2nd test.

    Match-Fixing / Spot-Fixing is happening in every team and many players from different teams are involved in it then why everyone is only and only spitting on Pakistan? Furthermore these allegations are more then enough to cause mental distraction which not only effects on any particular team perform but also individual player’s performance too. This is what exactly England has done. It seems like a big giant SETUP to me. It involves ECB, ICC and English media.

    After their lost in 2nd test they were threaten that there is a good chance they’ll loose 3rd test and series as well. And that why they accused Spot-Fixing allegation on Pakistan bowling attack. They targeted the strength of Pakistan tea

  • Aemal Rahim on September 22, 2010, 1:44 GMT

    I am not from Pakistan but i love and very Fan of Pakistan cricket since i was 8 years. The thing i want to say that the people just didn't want to see that Pakistan succeed in their matches no matter it was test match 20/20 or one day series. Even though they have lost their last two series but still the knew that M Asif and M Aamer r the two key bowlers of Pakistan and they set them up for Match fixing who knows that some of the key people involves in it. That's why the England team was so happy as they have won the two series. a single player can make a big different to the team win and lost. Any way if England wins or lost that's fine by the media ICC, supporters or ECB if Pakistan wins or lost they have match fixing what the Hell? I am 100% agree with Pakistan Coach Ijaz Butt he has the rights to finger on any one. Why did England lost the two one day Matches while they are the best any one can say the same thing they might have fixing too. after winning the two series.

  • Pakistani on September 22, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    Best oF luck PAKISTAN cricket team...Whatever the result at Rosebowl we Love our team and we will support it through thick and thin...Till Death GREEN

  • Ali on September 22, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    Nice article. It missed the spice the day started with. Wahab and Trott fiasco. I am amazed why cricinfo didnt carry the story as to what exactly happened... how as per player report Trott misbehaved, called Wahab names and fixer etc.... unfortunate and then grabbed Wahab by throat... i guess he was met with resistance and there is clap with 2 hands not hand, so obviously this thunder was met with emotions from both side. But i think it is imp to c how Billy Doctrove has been giving pathetic decisions one after another and then Umpires on other end are also pretty poor...is there something to investigate there?... how come that mazhar guy knew that Pak "will bowl"... seems like he knew the toss result already.... i guess there is much more to this conspiracy then what meets the eye... lets hope we find the truth and everyone involved come to justice without discrimination of country, color or creed.

  • TSP1 on September 22, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    Pak must be banned for 3 years: Pakistan is always in denial. Let us state this first. They have talent that can put other countries to shame. But they have little shame. Sri Lanka visits them. Their players get shot. There was no shame. Only blaming others. New Zealand visits them, their hotel gets bombed. No shame again. England graciously allows them home base. Instead of thanking and being grateful, Blame england. Pakistani's should ask- why is it it is always their country that is bamed for all ills in cricket. Enough is enough. ICC should ban Pak for 3 years and even after that they should think whether to take them back. Pakistan as a country is going down....one day they will blow themselves up. Please have some shame and clean up. Stop blaming others. That Ijaz Butt probably himself involved in betting syndicates. All shameless creatures.

  • Ahsan on September 22, 2010, 1:21 GMT

    Great article and I felt if I have written it, I have done it the same way.

  • pink rickshaw on September 22, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    "I realised I hadn’t indulged in these antics for many years, not since I was 15, which was thirty years ago"

    Saad Shafqat must be the greyest-haired 45-year-old in Pakistan. Must be all that nervous cricket.

  • ashraff on September 22, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    patriotism is good... but only as long as it does not make you blind to the truth... i thought only the paki cricketers and administrators had a problem... but after reading this blog and the comments ive come to the understanding that even the fans are the same... i feel cricket wil only be served good by the suspension of pakistan from world cricket until they completely cleen up the mess that they find themselves in...

  • Bilal Yasin on September 22, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are this sentence really put a full stop to the whole drama . great article and great words to end it.couldnt b better

  • Sunny on September 22, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    RE:KHURRAM GONDAL

    Yes, I agree. Pakistan is also the only country to have given crooked, corrupt cricketers to the world too. So, don't forget that. Pak cricketers have proven that in international cricket, talent does not matter. They successfully proved that talent can be manipulated by few bucks.

    Sorry, but have to disagree with you. Most of the people you named were either already convicted or have suspicions hanging over them.

  • mk49 on September 22, 2010, 0:56 GMT

    What was that I heard of England throwing this one. For Pak fans, it is a tough choice. If they did, well the Pak. team is not the only team whose members are without scruples. But if they really did - then that darned win was not really a win...:)

  • declan1 on September 22, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    A real proposal to clean up the game

    Like many others I have been thinking how we can help the underpaid teams such as Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

    I think what world cricket desperately needs is real leadership and the players need a real employer. We all know that the combination of bad pay and bad leadership equals more opportunities for corruption.

    So my proposal is

    1. For the 4 lowest paid teams to have an employment relationship with the ICC which is independently monitored. National boards still pick the players and teams.

    2. For the ICC to get a portion of broadcast rights to ensure that there is sufficient funding for a minimum payment for a test cricketer of 100k a year ( we are talking of squads of 25- this is not a big figure compared to the harm that is being done to the game)

    3. All payments can be then inependepently monitored and the massive financial inequities between rich and poor countries is addressed.

  • declan1 on September 22, 2010, 0:51 GMT

    A real proposal to clean up the game

    Like many others I have been thinking how we can help the underpaid teams such as Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

    I think what world cricket desperately needs is real leadership and the players need a real employer. We all know that the combination of bad pay and bad leadership equals more opportunities for corruption.

    So my proposal is

    1. For the 4 lowest paid teams to have an employment relationship with the ICC which is independently monitored. National boards still pick the players and teams.

    2. For the ICC to get a portion of broadcast rights to ensure that there is sufficient funding for a minimum payment for a test cricketer of 100k a year ( we are talking of squads of 25- this is not a big figure compared to the harm that is being done to the game)

    3. All payments can be then inependepently monitored and the massive financial inequities between rich and poor countries is addressed.

  • matth on September 22, 2010, 0:45 GMT

    3. Those who use the argument that because other cricketers from other countries must be doing the same thing to complain about Pakistan cricket's treatment are silly. If you are arrested for murder does the fact that somewhere in the world someone else has committed a murder means that your crime is any less serious? Of course not.

  • Matt H on September 22, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    I think all everyone who is treating Mr Butt's unsubstantiated accusations ("I've heard bookies are saying ...") in the same way as the original spot fixing issues need to take a step back. 1. There is no way the England Bricket Board wanted to hurt Pakistan cricket, stop Amir and Asif from bowling or any other tripe. English cricket have lost plenty of cash by the poor attendances as a result of this fiasco. And we all know that $$ is all English cricket are interest in (Stanford?) 2. The original accusations are back by video evidence and a cash trail. They are not wild accusations without support. they are currently under investigation by Scotland Yard and the ICC. If they were completely without basis, investigations would have ceased and the newspaper would have printed a retraction or been sued.

  • Sympathizer on September 22, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    Well written, fantastic article. At least someone has praised Pakistan team. I wish Pakistani fans and Ex-Pakistani cricketers appreciate the way Ejaz Butt is handling the prejudice and biased ICC. Butt was the one who brought financial gains to Pakistan cricket when they cancelled the world cup. And now he is backing the team right or wrong until proved; very diplomatically by his statements. Butt’s diplomatic credentials should make him the best politician Pakistan really need.

  • awais on September 22, 2010, 0:16 GMT

    i love ur article. If u see England in any sports. They r nt good enough in any part of game. They always try to come on top through their own media. Simple is that "Pakistan is the Best"

  • Omer cheema on September 21, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    An impreSsive article with 100 percent pure feelings. Keep the flag high.

  • Asad on September 21, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    @Steve, Yea Steve you are absolutely right about Ijaz butt, we all konw about him, and in fact even before the start of the england tour every one in Pakistan wanted Ijazz butt to be sacked. and btw we are also very thankfull to you guys for hosting this tournament. I dont know about other's but this whole situation has made this whole series very interesting to me, am loving it., and yes let the best team win at the RoseBowl - Pakistan :)

  • IFTI KHAN on September 21, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    Lets show the POMS who they are n where they belong to.Razzaq, umer gul n rawal pindi express rocks mate

  • Ajmal on September 21, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    This is not first time when ever pakistan or india go to Englad they Propaganda to disturb teams to win series always, how childish is this strass after losing game strass said we were very disturbed, they were not disturb when score was 113/0 funny. I know why they distrub because pakistan Beat them badly, pakistan player they should sue those media and icc . I like what ever ijaz butt comments in defence, Go luck pakistan.

  • faheem on September 21, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    well said, we need these kind of articles on ppl's screen so they can think out side of the silly 20p newspaper media!!!

  • Anwar Rizvi on September 21, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    Hey guys lets not get too carried away by "conspiracy theories" and let's not get ourselves into a siege mentality. Pakistan won two great games of cricket whilst playing under the greatest of strains and with their second string bowling attack. Yet the buffoon who runs the PCB seeks to demean those victories by suggesting that somehow those matches could have been "fixed" and some english players may have been paid off by the bookies!! not a word of praise for his team, no congratulatory messages, just an idiotic interview to NDTV which completely overshadowed the great achievements of Shahid Afridi and his boys. Please let us remember one thing : whatever is being said in the british media, ultimately it will be the ICC that will decide whether people are guilty or innocent. Meanwhile all Butt has to do is keep his big mouth shut and let cricket do the talking.

  • Nadeem Qureshi on September 21, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    First things first, Excellent article!

    What I find most satisfying are the Indian commentators after any bit of good that Pakistan team is able to deliver... Sure! There are those noble ones, who will comment on the game, but mostly its those comments reeking of resentment which make my day.

    Case in point - How very conveniently Mahe and co. are able to extrapolate from cricket and point at exactly what is wrong with Pakistan as a whole - I wonder if they actually look at Ishant Sharma's lean frame and declare how he is a reflection on the 1/3rd of the world's malnutritioned living in India not-so-shining.

    Or perhaps Harbhajan hitting Sreesanth is just the tip of the iceberg - the iceberg being the 15+ independence movements across India today. Nothing need make sense of course - the wonder that is internet; it's made know-it-all commentators of us all. Disguised or not - certainly not a blessing.

  • Truth Seeker on September 21, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    Guys this is not about emotions. Cheating Lying Dishonesty and selling off your country/mother is the lowest of low humanity can fall to. Forgetting everything after one sugary article is disgraceful.

  • SWAT on September 21, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    Extraordinary article, very sensible, thats the real Pakistan cricket, we don't want to miss. they rising again for the great cricket lovers round the globe...

  • Zizi on September 21, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    RE Steve "You should be ashamed of him. Now, back to cricket - with the one day series poised at 2-2, let the best team win at the Rose Bowl" - No worries Steve we are all ashameda nd disgusted with actions of Mr Ijuaz Butt [and we also wonder if he has some kind of dementia- aged 73 and looks sick] - his is a well-known politicial appointmnet being a cronie to the President [latter is probably the most corrupt person in the country.]

    And yes, let the best team win [ and please no more altercations. Thanks]

  • Shahrose Khan on September 21, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    hahahahah! 'forces of evil' LOL more like forces of english press great article I enjoyed that

    and I'm one of the people who hadn't lost hope and wouldn't have lost even if the opening batsmen were hitting sixes in place of fours

    heck, I don't even give up if there are 5 runs needed in 12 overs with 5 wickets left... I'm still thinking to myself "yaar koi hattrick kare aur us ke baad bowlers par pressure daal kar 12 overs mein 5 run na bananay dein"

    If my personal way of thinking wasn't enough, I heard Sohail's comments before the match that there were going to be a lot of runs in powerplays, but then things would dry up when we send spinners...

    I'm serious.

  • surly on September 21, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    Not sure why there is so much talk about 'double standards'. Let's be clear, the accusations against Pakistan were based on evidence, video and otherwise. They did NOT come from the ECB, who have done their best to help Pakistan. After these allegations came out, the ECB did NOT accuse Pakistan of anything, despite the way their hospitality had been thrown in their face, instead they left it to the ICC to investigate. So what does Butt do? He accuses England of throwing a game, without producing any evidence. This is not a newspaper, this is the head of the PCB. And the Pak supporters on here seem to support his actions, or call criticism of him 'double standards'. You should all be ashamed.

  • asyed on September 21, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Well the way I see it is quite simple. All England was doing is trying to play mind games. Just take a step back and try to observe what has done since Pakistan started this tour. 1st they win against Australian. Then after loosing 1st test against England they bounced back and win 2nd test.

    Match-Fixing / Spot-Fixing is happening in every team and many players from different teams are involved in it then why everyone is only and only spitting on Pakistan? Furthermore these allegations are more then enough to cause mental distraction which not only effects on any particular team perform but also individual player’s performance too. This is what exactly England has done. It seems like a big giant SETUP to me. It involves ECB, ICC and English media.

    After their lost in 2nd test they were threaten that there is a good chance they’ll loose 3rd test and series as well. And that why they accused Spot-Fixing allegation on Pakistan bowling attack. They targeted the strength of Pakistan tea

  • kaz on September 21, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    You always write better article than Osman who is hired by cricinfo to write against pak cricket lolz

    I was in Lords for 4th ODI and the atmosphere was electric because of pakistani fans and i was saying the same thing to my friend cricket without pakistan team and pakistani fans can't be same

    I love pak cricket team and pak cricket fans

  • Grant on September 21, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    Any player of whatever nationality, if proved to have fixed matches, needs to be banned. We all want to watch cricket believing that matches are real, not containing spot or match fixing. Players should be innocent until proved guilty. Butt's allegations that England players fixed the Oval match are not currently backed up by evidence. Allegations that Amir, Salman Butt and Asif have been backed up by evidence gathered by Scotland Yard and the NOTW and authorities are seeing if there is sufficient evidence to charge them with spot-fixing. If Ijaz Butt produces evidence that shows England players are guilty of fixing, they should face the same fate as if Amir, Butt and Asif are charged and found guilty. Guilt should be punished equally regardless of nationality under a fair and just system. I hope cricket has the guts to do so.

  • Omer khalid khan on September 21, 2010, 22:15 GMT

    Excellent article,

  • sakaz on September 21, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    really worth reading stuff after a long long time, as we were only able to read stuff that they want us to read to burnt and provoke us to do the things that Mr Butt did in media, also our writers on this forum look like infect they are puppets of English journalism like Mr. Osama & Kamran Abbasi.

    Nice one Saad shafqat. keep going

  • imran on September 21, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Needn't be said again but what a great article. And you did it without even a slight mention of the immaculate Abdur Razaq.

    Steve: we are as ashamed of Butt as you are of Jonathon Trott, Ian Botham and the betting syndicate that calls England home.

    Maybe we'll hear how Razzaq was involved in spot fixing by scoring only 4 of the first 10 balls and then 40 of the next 10. 4 times 10 is forty and Razzaq earned 400K for spot fixing the last 10 balls he faced.

  • Tsami on September 21, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    When Pakistan is playing anything can happen. So its very stressful. There are more heart aches than celebrations. God why cannot we just have normal cricketers.

    So many times in my life I said to myself this is enough. I cannot take it anymore. I will get a heart attack. When Wasim Akram retired ;I said to myself I will never watch Pakistan cricket again. I say how it is possible for a inswinging ball pitched about 6-8 meters from the bat, travelling at over 82 miles per hour change its course and move in just the opposit direction. And now they say its the Kid 18 yr old Aamir could be Wasim in the making. So they had to destroy him. Old history goes back to Plassey and Sringapatnam.

  • imran on September 21, 2010, 21:50 GMT

    Need'nt be said again but what a great article. And you did it without even a slight mention of the immaculate Abdur Razaq.

    Steve: we are as ashamed of Butt as you are of Jonathon Trott, Ian Botham and the betting syndicate that calls England home.

    Maybe we'll hear how Razzaq was involved in spot fixing by scoring only 4 of the first 10 balls and then 40 of the next 10. 4 times 10 is forty and Razzaq earned 400K for spot fixing the last 10 balls he faced.

  • TEE on September 21, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Guys i was at the match..thsi was truly a team effort..a big big big well done should go to FAWAD ALAM..if u see this guy field live he is sonmethnig else, the way he covers the pitch, the way he is confident..also another thing they dont show on T.V..A FEW TIMES M.Haffez went to Afridi and advised him how to set the field, and well done to Afridi he listened every time.. razzaq was awesome..s.akthar second spell great..and gul..wow wow..akthar bowled one ball 95mph past strauss what a ball..and razzaqs six..biggest i have seen..lords is a big ground razzq smashed it in the top tier..wow..and cant forget yousufs catch great with another playing also going for teh catch..i have seen many matches live,,but this match u coudl feel hwo pasionate teh team were, how they wanted to win..hope this continues..

  • Zafar Iqbal Abdul Salam on September 21, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    I have read a lot during this Paksitan & England series but your article is one of the truly best one. God bless you, Now being a Pakistani it is our responsibility to give hard reply on these non-senses. keep it up in future as well.

  • Waqas on September 21, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    I read about spot fixing before start of the 3rd ODI. Their media only wanted to depress the Pakistani team mantaly for their final assault, but Afridi's team deny it. History tells us how ill minded and cheater they are. They did not defeat Afridis that time even. They came for business in India and accupied the country. At the end they had to shut up everything and now again they should shut up after consective defeats. Asia is rising in every field and what they can not absorb. Now it is time for India to crush them and deny their World Cup Dream.

    God Bless everybody from forces of evil, whoever they are, wherever they are.

  • rock123 on September 21, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    Every one is scared of Pakistan cricket and it's talent .Like Muhammad come's from no where and rock the world not ling england playing county etc .Anyway i hope he get bacj in team soon Inshahallah and will rock again .Go Green Go we are with you

  • Anonymous on September 21, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    No one is saying that the Pakistan team are a poor one day team.

    The are however money grabbing cheating low grade individuals who have dragged the great game through the mud once again.

    No more ...ban them for 5 years, this will give them time to sort this mess out once and for all.

  • Peace and Tranquality on September 21, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    A very well written and an article showing true love for Pakistan cricket, I along with many others appreciate the writing style depicting truly emotional Pakistani. Mr. Botham in fact do not like Pakistani team from the very beginning, I guess he forgot the earlier cases. By the way I would like to put a question to ECB, do they have any PROOF that proves all the said allegations? I would say that it truly describes their hospitability; the way they have treated their guests exactly describes them well.

    I would end by stating that I wish they visit Pakistan and get warm welcome in every sense without any negativities so that they think themselves what they had once done to Pakistani team was NOT AT ALL CORRECT.

    Pakistan Zindabad

  • Amit on September 21, 2010, 21:16 GMT

    The matchfixing scandal is terrible, Ijaz Butt was just downright silly and I am not mad keen on supporting a pakistani outfit but I really thought amir was amazing and have been suporting the pakistani team through the last 2 ODI's simply because I feel the arrogant and self righteous attitude of the english (erm...south african) team is laughable and was very disappointed by Ian bothams comments about banning Pakistan.

    Do we need to solve match fixing - 100% Yes

    Does that mean banning Pakistan as a team - 100% No

    Matchfixing is not limited to Pakistan - unfortunately the bookies and the money are in India and all teams have elements involved in it to some degree simply because there is too much money involved. So do not just blame Pakistan and the Pakistani team for the mistakes of a few.

  • Kurien on September 21, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    I don't understand how you conclude with such high note when your team is kicking you on your face. You becoming a teenager is not because of the Paki team, but it was the anxiety syndrome getting the best of you.

  • Shamas Abbas on September 21, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    Dear Shafqat Sahib,

    This is an excellent and appropriate article by you. Nice one. I always feel the same as you. Always be behind the team.

    What amazes me is why didn't Umpires Constant and Hair get immediatley banned because they changed the course of several matches in favour of the opposition. Pakistan were cheated of many victories to please the opposition.

    Also, Gatting, Broad etc should have been suspended immediately (1987) for bringing the game into disrepute.

    And now Trott....where are the ICC and the bobby now?

    I can give you a huge list of incidents where the Pakistan cricket team has been cheated. And it has all been recorded on TV. Even a blind person can witness that!

    Many times the Pakistan team has had to play against 13 people.

    Good luck Pakistan. I love you and good luck for the next World Cup. Bring it home where it belongs. And bowl as many no-balls as you like. It is merely a part of a fast bowlers aggression and tactics.

  • rehan zubair on September 21, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    awsome performance frm pakistan i think they have shown the world that the r still a awsome side n although there was to much pressure n alligations on them bt they have proved that they r the best side in the world n this is a slap on the english media who have wrongly accused pakistani team pakistani team rockz and inshallah they will win the series to wat a performance in very very difficult situation all the credit goes to the team

  • Ahmed on September 21, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Every one is scared of Pakistan Cricket.That's they are appealing to ban them from International cricket .As far as these alegation's they are scared of Muhammad Amir who is just 18 and bowling like a champ at this age and they just thinking what he will do at the age 25 or 26 if he survives this from ICC or ECB.Pakistan have best bowlong attack still how many bowler's you will ban we have lot of talent for bowling and batting .

    Love Pakistan and Proud to be Pakistani

    Regards

  • Zafar Iqbal Abdul Salam on September 21, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    I have read a lot during this Paksitan & England series but your article is one of the truly best one. God bless you, Now being a Pakistani it is our responsibility to give hard reply on these non-senses. keep it up in future as well.

  • Sohel on September 21, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    When Pakistan lose a game, it is a spot-fixing. If wins one, there is a score-pattern. Next time, probably, if there is draw, the accuser will bring both factors (spot-fixing and score-pattern) as reasons behind it. C'mon. Give a break.

  • Azm Aftab on September 21, 2010, 20:56 GMT

    The fact that some people here have mention to boycott Pakistani cricket (in one case it was suggested for 15 years) shows how stupid and unrealistic people are. Ian Botham is a farce of man who already has a proven anti-Pakistan agenda, and the only other player who has suggested to ban Pakistan is Ian Chappel (maybe there something in the name IAN). Ian Chappel forgot that when Aussie players came under scrutiny he didn't make any such suggestions. Rather Waugh and Warne were and still are trotted around as heroes. I have a confession to make though. And Ian Botham with his "mother in law" comment should never have been indicted to knighthood. Its a shame that people HAVE to call him SIR! I hate BOTH of them! But i hate ICC and the British media more. I am waiting for England to come to Australia, i will be over joyed when the Boys in yellow embarrass the English! Take THAT IAN BOTHAM! OZ OZ OZ...OYE OYE OYE!

  • Hassan on September 21, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    Great Article. This is exactly what each Pakistani cricket fan goes through. Very true depiction. Cann't wait for the last ODI. Pakistan Zidabad!

  • Purecricket on September 21, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    This is the real issue...Do not try to find a calming article in midst of war...I think Pak cricket has suffered becuase of self-denial...Liked the way Gul bowled and also Asim&Amir b4 the controversy..thot Pak cricket were under resurgence bt alas it ws shot-lived...Look hard and act hard..get rid of the bugs and cricket shall be a delight again...till thn pak cricket would be looked down upon by any cricket lover unless some sincerity is shown by PCB...

  • Ashar waleed on September 21, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    loved it....

  • Mike on September 21, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    This was a great article. But what the obsessive blind followers and defenders of Pakistan cricket don't understand is that true cricket fans of ANY nation are so let down by the appalling acts of a few players this summer because we LOVE Pakistani cricket (or Asian cricket in general)! It's not at all that we hate Pakistan. Don't you see???? The sight of the players manager counting out money, and predicting correctly those no-balls has done so much damage. That is evidence, whether true or not to warrant massive suspicion and bring awful harm to the game. Butt's remarks this week, at a time when the head of Pakistani cricket should be pouring oil onto troubled waters were stupid in the extreme. The attacks on the Pakistani players are justified because of what we saw. Baseless mud slinging they are not. But again, we true fans love all Asian cricket. But until the heads of Pakistani cricket spend less time defending and more time acting then the Greens are doomed to be distrusted!

  • Mudassar Rana on September 21, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    There is no team like pakistan. England have Doctrove to thank that its 2-2 - inshallah we will win the decider as well because we need to shove these allegations back down their throat. They throw wild accusations and its ok our buffoon throws one back and they start crying. The rank hatred from chief racists like botham is spewed out.

  • Arsalan on September 21, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    Actions speaks more than words. I think these 2 ODIs wins would be enough to shut mouths of hypocritic and double standard ICC, English media, their Board and their useless players. They deserve these humiliated defeats. They had put all their efforts to disrupt Pakistani team mentally by such proofless allegations. They banned three of our super stars but still they are unable to defeat our passionate team. I think we should praise our players and Ijaz Butt also who atleast this time dare to stand against these evil forces.

  • Dr Rashid Mahmood on September 21, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    Dear Saad very well written article. I can only imagine the feeling you have gone through yesterday. We as a nation love cricket. I was there at Lords myself watching the match live. Body language of team pakistan was very obvious with a point to prove (to win). The skier Mo Yo took have every pakistani supporter on the edge of their seats and my heart inside me was saying please dont drop it, please dont drop it. Only because being a true pakistani supporter and passionate cricketer, i wanted pakistan to win against all the odds ( Biased umpiring again, staruss not given LBW by english umpire when ball was missing off and leg stump, hitting middle of the middle stump, biased english media including sky commentators and some cricinfo writers ) and boy they did it and in style.You dont have to take it all the time, sometime its wise to give it back aswel.

  • MK on September 21, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    I dont understand, though i dont like butt at all but when he said English players have taken money then it has become a crime and when ICC says Pakistan players have done some thing in third ODI then thats fine, well thats crime for Pakistan cricket. I DONT get it.... poor English team, someone accused them and they got under pressure, they didn't wanted to play at all then (haha.. this is the one of its own excuse) well excuse me Pakistan team should get king of accusation award here. Honestly Not the whole english team but dont you think there could be one or two English players taking money????????? Why not???? they are human, Africans have done it, Australians Indians have done it and believe me they have done it as well.Remember an honest person when insulted say i dont care i havent done it. A thief gets panic.. just look out for panic faces or panic response........once and only once thank you ijaz butt

  • jikkles on September 21, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Salim Sachedin, that was a pretty silly comment. The players believe they play well by the grace of God. Ie everything they do is by Allah's will

  • Ataq on September 21, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    Well Sir Saad! a real master blaster stroke for sure well done and thanks.

    @ Steve, There are about 140 million or more :) Pakistanis who are ashamed of people ruling them and stealing high posts for no other reason but nepotism (just like Mr.Butt).

    The Pakistani fans knows its cricketing problem and in time we will solve it. What hurts is the double standards! imagine Pakistani media and commentators only talk about the relations between ENGLISH Cricket and Texas Billionaire who was pumping stolen money in Cricket. How would it feel if every sentence about English Cricket starts and ends with that story. Why all wrongs will get right if Pakistan incarcerate it's sons why cant all be treating in the same. Please, do not misguide! any person with half brains here knows SUN, NOTW and their moral values and their motives. Let cricket talk, win and loss is part of game. Yes rotten eggs in the game should be treated regardless of their talent and nationality.

  • Shanawar Hashmi on September 21, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    Steve, I agree with you about the PCB management. Butt's comments were highly inappropriate and unbecoming of an administrator at that level. I'm sure most Pakistani Fans will agree. We certainly hope he gets replaced in the new future, or it would be even better that he resigned. Also, we appreciate that ECB has allowed us to play neutral matches. As far as the media is concerned, well, they're just doing what they're good at. And yes, may the best team win at the Rose Bowl and I'm sure it will be one heck of a contest!

  • Ibrahim Moiz on September 21, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    I suppoort Pakistan, and in my experience the bulk of England supporters, players and administrators are very fair, balanced and have been immensely welcoming to a foreign team playing on their turf. The thing that gets my goat is the newspapers--not just tabloids, but "respectable" columnists like Scyld Berry eagerly trying to play detective over the tawdriest speculations.

    that said, Ijaz Butt has again lived down to his name; has there ever been a worse administrator of any team? How dare he childishly try to accuse the other team of "throwing" the match just to see what it feels like? Yes the pak team had been done an injustice by the papers but the ECB and the team have been very kind and diplomatic. Time to kick that Butt out

  • Dave Rai on September 21, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    The fact remains that three Pakistan players did collude with indian bookmakers to ball no balls. Many would argue that its only no balls but leaving aside the british media self absorbed piranha like behaviour and the ECB alleged sensible approach i.e waited 24 hours, before deciding that they want to cancel future tours,(no better than the big butt gas release)we still have players who are more concerned about filling their own pockets at the nation expense. Yes, the IPL have their own scandal, and yes the BCCI is a more powerful voice but it was not easy for them to get there. We should not respond to any looney accusations as the dog will only bark louder. Instead we should wait until its hungry and then punish it for its naive behaviour. Win every game, fans support every game, make an effort to attend games so PCB is helped financially and in turn players better paid. Ruling out fixing. Get rid of those who are willing to sell the nation(Traitors)and watch each nation do a u turn

  • Qasir Ahmad on September 21, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    The price we pay to feel 15 again is big!But it is is worth a while.

  • Sarim jamal on September 21, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Well said... And i being a Pakistani and a Pakistani cricket team fan , I agree with the last post by Steve,That was childish and unprofessional of Mr.Butt,Nonsense aggression,Just ruined the situation.

  • Navi on September 21, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Why are you writing blog if you are so much afraid of publishing comment which does not agree with you? You did not publish my earlier comment but I am writing it here again. You guys should be ashamed of Pakistani team right now. Instead of glamorizing dishonesty and cheating in game, the Pakistani fan should boycott their team. Integrity and strength of character is much important that a mere win once in a while. This was a perfect time to bring house back in order by boycotting and urging players to come out clean. But it is too much to ask from people and country who are always in denial mode what so it may be.

  • Syed Zaidi on September 21, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    For the 5th ODI Pakistan should ask to replace Doctrove. He is not qualified for elite panel at all. Even Struass knows that he is plumb and leaving but Doctrove thinking something else. Yousuf was given out lbw but Davies was not out similar fashion. See the biased of cricinfo commentators when Yousuf was out and Hawk Eye showed ball is kissing just top of bells they wrote it is good decision to give out but when Hawk eye showd the ball is touching half of legstump they said wrote fair decision to give not out.

  • ali_a on September 21, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    @Steve: No body said we are not grateful to the ECB or MCC or English for welcoming Pakistan to play their home series against Aussie. But realize when we play host, we don't go around accusing our guests as cheats or fixers (unless we've concrete evidence to prove that). On one hand you guys welcome Pak team, but on other hand your media kept on slapping them(Pak) on their faces - your board should've atleast the decency to say to your public "Come on, lets not judge them unless its proven -- something on those lines..". Instead every dick and harry (Vaughan, Bycott) was coming out with statements accusing not just individuals but the whole Pak cricket and more. So you can't expect Pak team/mgmt to simply bend over over your hospitality and let your media and ex-players hit them in as... all the time :) Come on, would you allow that? Surely, we never said that we're happy at PCB or Pak Govt for mistreatment and corruption. But we can't let your media go on like this forever

  • Sri on September 21, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Two points: 1. It is unbelievable there are still so many paki fans who think there is a conspiracy against their team inspite of overwhleming evidence of corruption among their players. 2. Now I understand the reasons for pakistan's inconsistent performances through the years. Losing a match from a strong position means the fixers can make more money compared to a closely fought match. Sorry if this inconsistency continues, I won't be watching their games, even when they play India.

  • Saad bin Naeem on September 21, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    What an honest piece of writing. Truly echoing the feelings of EVERY genuine Pakistan cricket fans!

    take that! the forces of evil... where ever your are......who ever you are!

  • Madhusudan on September 21, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    What can I say. Really excellent article. Hats off to Pakistan for their comeback performances. They are really comparable to legendary phoenix. I remember liking Pakistan team more than Indian team, in the days before Savrav's captaincy. Just give good support to players, let them play in IPL. Keep their cash-cows running in legal and deserved ways. I am sure, there'll not be another betting scandal! Lastly, shame on Ijaz Butt!

  • sadia on September 21, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    England players are cry babies

    i hope pakistan wins tomorrows match inshallah...that will annoy them even more......

  • CricCan on September 21, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Every team in the world produces a performance here and there which would keep its fan interested. What's so special about Pakistan? Even BanglaDesh recently beat England in an ODI. I think it's the nature of the game of cricket.

  • Steve on September 21, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    Also, in response to Adil, Sir Ian Botham's knighthood was awarded as much for his charity work as his cricketing exploits. He has walked thousands of miles to raise money for all sorts of good causes (children, cancer etc.)

  • Asif on September 21, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    All I can say is that: Yes.. India and Australia may be is No.1 or 2, just like Vanilla or Strawberry icecreams are No 1 and 2 in the world, but only Pakistan brings the true pleasure of savoring a Wild Mango Cherry Passion Ice Cream Gellato in a hot summer afternoon..

  • Steve on September 21, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    OK guys, I'm English but guess what? I'm also a fan of the Pakistan cricket team. My memories go as far back as watching the majestic batting of Majid Khan, a prince among batsmen! But... lets have some perspective here, please. England has welcomed the Pakistani team, not just to play against the host country but to play their series against Australia. Then, when the NOTW article appeared, with seemingly incriminating evidence (still to be proven) there was a smuch disappointment among English fans as among Pakistani supporters. To be honest, the comments of Ijaz Butt are OBVIOUSLY just made to try and deflect attention away from the Pakistani players, and I suppose to try and "put the boot on the other foot". Come on, surely you can see that for what it is? Its childish, its pathetic and its unworthy of a cricket administrator at any level. You should be ashamed of him. Now, back to cricket - with the one day series poised at 2-2, let the best team win at the Rose Bowl!

  • Adil on September 21, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Take knighthood back from Botham to preserve the value of the title 'Sir.' The Great Imran has been a far better all rounder and a much more sensible and deserving leader to this day. Though the proud Imran would have rejected the offer of an alien title, he should have at least been given the offer on fair grounds.

  • Mahe on September 21, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    This article shows exactly what's wrong with Pakistan and it's cricket fans. The blame is always at external forces like indian bookies, ICC, forces of evil etc. Never will they accept that there is something wrong with the team itself and not just the management. They just won 2 one-day matches and the Pakistani fans have absolved the team of all their sins. The talk of old glory or flash-in-the-pan performances does not mask the rot that's been affecting the team for some time.

  • Omar on September 21, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Nice piece. Yousuf did well to get hold of that skier by Morgan- maybe it's just me but our players seem to take the harder chances 9 out of 10 times where as they just can't seem to hold the easy ones.

  • Ali Humayun on September 21, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    This has to be one of the best articles ever written for a Pakistani team. True, honest and real emotions described of every Pakistani Fan. Good Luck to Pakistan on Wednesday. May the best team win.

    Ali

  • muhammad 7676 on September 21, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    very well written article.the last para describes it all about pakistan cricket.pakistan team brings excitement and flare and unpredictability to the game which no other team brings because pakistanis show their raw talent while all other teams focus so much on coaching that their natural talent gets suppressed.only indians to some extent match pakistan when it comes to flare and excitement.

  • Umair on September 21, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Brilliant article Saad!! When the commentator said that yousuf was underneath the ball, i was about to hang my head... but what a catch!! long live Pakistan!

  • wonder on September 21, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    well said bro. U know i try to keep my self away from cricet after all those stories of fixing becoz i feel pain when i turn on th T.V and hear those unwanted stories. But i never leave my hope in Pakistan cricket and i know they r like Mustangs and can win in any pace as they have make us happy in past, as a supporter we should alwayz support the team which we love and give them confidence to come out of this crap.. I love Pakistan Cricet since i was born. I m not a pakistani but their aggresive and full of stars made me the biggest fan of this team.. I was happy yesterday and soon after i went and arranged a good party and hope they can me happy tomorrow and i wil enjoy the moments, even if win is not ours stil they play commendable cricet in this one day series which in alwayz praisable...

  • Zeeshan Ali on September 21, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    You rock Saad Shafqat. Arfidi guys doing it on the field and you on the internet. Good Job. Good to see positive and energetic comments from my Pakistani fans.

  • Haseeb on September 21, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    World cricket is playing the game of "WOLF & the LAMB" with Pakistan

  • Iqbal Hussain on September 21, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    This is the only article on this website which is not against the Pakistan. Actually English team should be ban for playing because there are allegations on them, as straus told before the serious that those pakistani players on whom allegations are thrown they should not play.Now England should realize that how the allegations hurt. My honest advice to change the name of ICC to IECC (India England Cricket Council).

  • Muhammad Umar Tahir on September 21, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    Let me be honest here.. It took 30 years for England to be in a situation in an ODI series where they are fighting close. The talent Pakistan have is not comparable to any team in the world, we play it the way any Street Tape ball cricketer would play. It is very important for the world to know that we are the craziest nation when it comes to fight back, we may loose this series, but it will bring a lot of confidence for our team to believe in themselves. Media and boards and even players like Fernando, Irfan Pathan came out with statements that they were approached by Bookies, come on Irfan if you were that good you would have been in the team. Ok we spot fix a match so what it shows that very so much better than you guys that we can make runs on to our will:) Can anyone do that?? I want to see what they will do now with all these news around would the matter will be closed or not? And all the players who wants Pakistan to be banned from cricket should know that it is not happening.

  • Noman on September 21, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Excellent article!!! Says everything regarding what pakistan cricket really is about. Exactly how i was feeling when watching the game yesterday. They are by far the best cricketing team and nation as far as talent goes, we have the batsmen who can create havoc at any time & the bowlers who can swing the ball however they like. I've been watching them play since the Imran Khan era and still jump with joy when the bowlers take a wicket or when the batsmen hit those sixes, but rage with fury when the bowlers get hit or the batsmen don't deliver. So obsessed with cricket and the pakistan team we are that we would rather read up on the latest scores on Cricinfo than watch as we can't bear to see our bowlers get hit or the batsmen getting out.

    Pakistan criket - With you as always, for always.

  • TheTruthFinder on September 21, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    Why is this tour still going on ? It is all great to read such articles, but it is because of this fanatic fan base that the Pakistani players get away with murder. Boycott Pakistan cricket for the next 15 years, you will see a whole new generation of guys wanting to play hard and win, rather than take bribes.

  • Salim Sachedina on September 21, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    I would like to add yet another equation which further complicates the issue of reliability of this or any other Pakistani teams. How do you explain when a batsman scoring a century is taking a bow and prostrating to the Almighty God, thanking Him for enabling him to score a 100? I mean this is all fine - to thank God for everything. The question is how do you deal with it when you're devastatingly beaten? Do you thank God for the defeat as well? It is hard (almost impossible) to understand a team that is driven by fatalism. There is no place for reason or application of logic in assessing such a team. It would appear that every time they play, it is the Almighty God that does the playing - so weird! You don't know who is playing tricks with you, the Providence or the match-fixer or the brilliance of the gifted cricketer or the irresponsible failings of him. It is anybody's guess. Indeed.

  • waleed khalid on September 21, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Well written. You could not have described the feelings any better.

  • Sufi on September 21, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    It is not the boys who let us down, it is their keepers who do not know how to save their lambs from a pack of hungry wolves.

  • Hussnain on September 21, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    WOW! what a read specially the last punch line. They need our support and we are there for you Green Shirts, Go and grab the game on Wednesday and show the world who you are. We dont have world support but without Pakistan Cricket which team will produce young talent like we do...

  • Wajid Khan on September 21, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    Excellent article. I almost experience the same emotions as you had. Way to go Pakistan. Dil Dil Pakistan, Jan Jan Pakistan.

  • Faisal on September 21, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    Lovely! WHAT A MASTERPIECE!!! WOW..... Just how did you manage to give words in our hearts! Beautifully expressed! I just don't have words!!!

    And the last sentence..."Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are." It should be mentioned in all UK newspapers after they try to attack Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket Team. If not in this world but the world to come hereafter, definitely all of this drama will be cleared.

    "Buhataan" laganay walun kay liye --> Hell is waiting for you!!!

    Keep writing Saad!

  • Shams Ahsan on September 21, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    It was a great display of quality leadership. Way to go Afridi.

  • Triniindian on September 21, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    DID you hear about new allegations in that ODI? I was enjoying every ball Mohammad Amir bowled but now have just confidence in Pakistani team and their board. Perhaps temporary break in necessary for them to get their house in order...

  • Taha on September 21, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    A very similar experience except... i switched off my tv when England was 100 for no loss and pretended to sleep and woke up after every minute to see the score on cricinfo.com ( I find it lucky nowadays !!)

  • Affan Ali Khan on September 21, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    different stroke indeed !!i be,the follower of PAK cricket since the dawn of my age.stands as proud as the the holy martyrs'sword or his horse or his armour or himself for that matter,even at the end of sydney test,have feelings no less then shafqat whilst watchin these chock-ful slipshods,slipdashers yet inborn instinctive beings, blazing in national greens some time making whole nation stand on a feet and sometimes makin them sway away their heads in shame.the beaut of the neverending tales of players & management relationships never short of giving sniff to our under cooked media and make it National & International the next second.Fixer they are when the bowl no-balls,Fixer they still are when tasting victory!?!a batsmen who caress feildmen like scissor to silk yet captains struggle to hide him whilst feilding,a bowler so tender off age yet making commentators fervidly xeroxing him with the Legend Wasim himself..long live PAKISTAN

  • Toescrusher on September 21, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    "Pakistan’s cricket team is generally the most fascinating, irritating, compelling and frustrating in world cricket." - Andy Zaltzman

    Andy Zaltman understood the Pakistani Team quite well if he would have been a Pakistani cricket fan then most likely he would have been an expert of turning television on an off.

  • Rahul on September 21, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Nicely written. Only the last line stood out like a sore thumb coz the forces of evil are in the inside, aren't they? Dishonest, cheating players with loose morals, infightings, never ending internal politics and a joke of a administration - corrupt, inept, nepotist and power hungry; but still going by the comments of the Pakistan cricket fans in articles here, the whole world is conspiring against them. Don't they realize that people laugh even more reading such comments?

  • tariq on September 21, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Best blog I have ever read about Pakistani Cricket.

  • Furqan A. Ahmad on September 21, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    The forces of evil have nowhere to hide eventhough they have the best of abilities to change forms. From Pakistan's perspective, especially after the last couple of years' untoward happenings, we have a genuine right to think of 'conspiracy theories' being knitted against Pakistan cricket in every probable corner, be it indian-led ICC, Aussie arrogance or anti-Pak British media. Yes, Pakistan's poor management has made it even harder for the Silent majority to beleive our innocence, but we must remember that Pakistan never started this. And that without Pakistan, the game will only suffer to prosper.

  • Zul on September 21, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    Well said. I share the same feelings.

  • PakFan on September 21, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Lovely Lovely Article, your so right! I sat here when strauss was hitting and facebooking congrats to the english, little did we know! Man i cant wait for wed, all we dont need is a pakistan all out flop

  • Hafsa on September 21, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Kudos to Pak Team!!!

    Kudos to u 2!

    :D

  • Salman on September 21, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Pakistan is the best in the game and when they get going, they are unstoppable (mashallah). Instead of trying to win the matchings off the ground (through the help of indian bookies and ICC head, removing Pakistan players on mere "allegations", a crime in my opinion pending investigations), it would be better for the opponents to win it in the game and let the world enjoy the cricket! With indian dirty politics involved, such a beautiful game will be marred for good! We look forward to the Afridi's team, as we are behind them, with them. Pakistan is all united behind this team, who are our heros, no matter what the bookies try to bring in. We want Aamer back in the team and now! He has been rested for no good reasons, and the ICC should apologize to him for their hastened wrong act!

  • nadeem sherwani on September 21, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Well said. Summed up my night as well. Pakistan team has to answer its critics on the ground, as the buffoons on the top are incapable of answering off it.

  • sibghat ullah on September 21, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Salam You really described Pakistan team and our emotions very well. But you forget to mention our whole country is like this. We deliver when world thinks it is impossible may it be 42 from 12 or 100 from 37. Pakistan Zanidabad

  • Salman on September 21, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    Love the last line:

    "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are."

    Well said Saad!

  • Anwar Khan on September 21, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are" Wow...like wow! Loved it!

  • RSK on September 21, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    It's very true! Despite being fed up with PCB and the antics of Pakistani cricketers, inexplicably, I still can't resist peeking in on cricinfo for the latest scoreline!

  • Haris on September 21, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Wonderful article!

  • Farasat Ali Shah Bukhari on September 21, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    Pakistan Team Rockzz. Pakistan team is team of crisis. They might be going through tough time and they might face a lot of conspiracy, everything might go against them but they will bounce back and bounce back really hard. So respect them and don't use false means to under pressure them. they can disappoint you anytime, anywhere, any instant.

  • friend on September 21, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    well SAID..

  • A wellwisher from across the border on September 21, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    Afridi's expression after the latest win said it all. He was happy, relieved and yet he had the look that there is more to do. The captain trying hard to pull his ship and his mates from the rough waters. A saint by no means, he has been mischievous in the past, but probably the right man to lead the team in these times. Pakistan should not be banned. Pakistan and world cricket, both need each other. Cricket wouldn’t be as exiting with out the talented Pakistanis and cricket in Pakistan is more than a game. It is an opportunity to engage the countries youth in a constructive manner. A young boy on a cricket field or in front of the TV watching an international match could be one less fertile impressionable mind ready to be misguided by a bunch of cave-dwelling cowards. ICC and the PCB need to work together to handle this current crisis. The need of the hour is better administrators. People who can guard and nurture the great Pakistani talent better. Good luck Pakistan.

  • Bharat on September 21, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Awesome article ! I wish Pakistan all the very best. They bring so much joy !

  • Zeeshan Ali on September 21, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Nice one. Great to watch these guys winning from behind. I watch every Pakistan match as if I'm sitting in the stadium, make a loud noise with every appeal they make. Celebrate every wicket by shouting and dancing. Talk to players what to do and what not to do as if they are listening to me. Yeh yeh I know I'm mad :P. I love it. Proud to be a fan of great Pakistan Team. Best of luck guys for the final ODI.

  • Nisar on September 21, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    its a great article but the problem is weather Pakistan wins or loose, ghost of match fixing never leaves it. it stick to it like a shadow. this is only because our pcb is very weak. if there were strong PCB the scenario would have been different. our cricket is running by adhoc committee for last nine years. there is no general body.we can't expect more than that. win here and there is enough to please us.

  • Kuram on September 21, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    An Australian blogger once put the plight of Pakistani fans in very sincere words.

    He said, "the Pakistani team makes the fans seriously think of killing themselves one moment, and then a reason to run around hugging random strangers the next."

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

  • mohammad riaz on September 21, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    afredi is fighter who never give up and team responce was good too.i think we got the best players in the world but they need good leader .and afredi is prove him self good leader.and frm now on they can only get better.inshalla

  • Nash on September 21, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    nice article

  • Srini on September 21, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Nicely captured the nerve of an Asian Cricket fan. Pak cricket captures the thrills of this sport like no other team. That's why the Cricket community has an enviable responsibility of restoring Pak cricket to its full glory.

  • Waheed on September 21, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Pakistan team always hit back. They have proven in both World Cups.

    Root of corruption is ICC and IPL. Just think, It was a sting operation, Then why against Pak. If Eng. media has done same operation with their Team or others, Results will be same.

    IPL's Moodi is charged with corruption, Millions of dollars spent player's. It is happening under ICC.

  • Zulfiqar Ali on September 21, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Saad is very true.Pakistanis when embattled are most fierce fighters.English fans also showed good sportsman ship albeit english media and some people in English cricket seems to be quite biased.

  • Karthik on September 21, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    Excellently worded! Even though I am an Indian, Pakistan is the team which, barring their almost comical fielding under pressure give the most entertainment and makes your heart pummel and soar like no other. Sad to see extraordinary talents like Aamir and Asif getting into fixing scandal.

  • Hashir on September 21, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    I didn't think that I would care about cricket again for a long time after the shenanigans that have gone on this summer. But there I was, hiding in a conference room at work, following the score on a PC (did not have live pictures, unfortunately, here in the US), willing Pakistan to win. When Morgan was caught (Yousuf of all people) it made my day. Well done boys! It takes guts to come down from 2-0 down, especially in the current hostile, media-fed-frenzied environment in England.

    Here's to a cracking, and hopefully, controversy free, final.

  • Nayab Zafar on September 21, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Dear Saad I could not have put it any better. You echo the sentiments of an entire generation of ardent cricket fan(NATICS) who cant let go of their true passion. Ah nostalgia !!

  • Aly on September 21, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    I was so happy About generousity and good will of English regarding cricket . i still wish best for them and all but i think they should take responsibility as elder part of a family and heal wounds and get eachother closer . The thing to Consider , neutrally is , PLease understand , everyone's got feelings , emotions and we r same human beings , though some dont have british or american passports , we should be treated same , the outraged Mr. Butt , shows that we all should have stand up and acted same way england officials are acting now when we hearded about the SUN news matter , I mean their are thousand news channels and papers , Should we start investigating all stuff these foolish newspapers say and start voicing in public ...no matter whatever they say to make money ? and supporting all of them like ICC did ... And suspend everyone untill they are proven guilty ? Unbelievably this should have been realised by all of us in the first place , now when some one is not actually pointing finger at England but infact he is trying to say that what if Investigation should be started due to some bookie circles giving this information about english involvment in fixing stuff , i mean obviously we cant start investigating all this , this way , Butt just wanted to get ICC to get attention to the fact that its doing wrong in reaction to SUN newspaper . When first NEWS OF THE WORLD tried to make money by making news of Betting etc. Icc can say ok , theyll investigate the matter but The way ICC handled things , it seems they should hire News papers for doing the work anticurruption unit of icc should be doing . You should not try to disturb others when they r not disturbing you , But this is happening everywhere in the world especially directed to People of Asia ... Now maybe they got some taste how it feels to be on recieving side , we r not happy with this but ..although Its all wrong reports , cause Mr. Butt though , maybe not so popular , still he didnt meant what media maybe telling , he simply said that he heard this from some sources , so does it means ICC will in morning come up suspend and start investigation by Speaking infront of media that a particular country is involved and particular is not etc. and start investigations and ruin this nice cricket series too . we should read the true reports and background of these matters ... If u ll try to illegally torture some poeple , they will back fire .... so better respect others before it comes to you .

  • OMAR on September 21, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    i love this. it reminds me teenage..

  • Fatima Nasir on September 21, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Really nice article!!! Love the last line!

  • Umair_umair on September 21, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Rightly Said. Same was going through my mind. Despite of all what happens. I just can't stop watching Pakistan cricket. folks, do you remember how many times you promised to yourself that you wil not follow a Pakistani team? after some allegations, some defeats in big big matches and so on. But everytime we come back to this team.

  • Wafi Sattar on September 21, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Its articles like this, especially by the fans, that make me come back to cricinfo more and more. Only a fan can understand the despair and desperation of another better than anybody else.

    I feel you hurt and with it share the hopeful sentiments and the childlike dream of this team overcoming the pain barrier set by a few nasty men.

    May the best team win, but may, in the end, cricket be the ultimate winner!

  • Montrealer on September 21, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Thank you Saad Shafqat for such an inspirational message across! You captured precisely what goes on in an avid Pakistani fans mind.

    Let's hope Waqar/Afridi combination silences everyone with their efforts on the field. Off the field, given the current PCB setup, i don't have a lot of hopes, unless powers to be in Pakistan get rid of this disfunctional PCB administration and bring in breath of fresh air!

  • Blithe on September 21, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    The problem is more than the English tabloid journalism....

    But Ijaz Butt has taken the situation from the rediculous to sublime. He has evened things up and made the English team come under a lot of pressure.

    The guy is an ******* but he is our *******.

  • Arisha G on September 21, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Unfortunately that 'unpredictability' has gotten us into a mess. Fairly or unfairly it is now being seen as something that was set up. This is not to condone anything if the players were involved in, charge them if proven guilty but not the entire nation and the team as a whole. But it does put a damper now on all the 'wins' in these ODIs.

  • Arsalan on September 21, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Very Well written, I can realize and feel the intensity in yesterdays game which is significant to the golden 1990's pakistan cricket era. We definetly have match winners in ourside at that time and to this date. No matter how much ECB, IAN BOTHEM or the Australians hate us, Pakistan will be a fighting tiger.

  • Cricketlover on September 21, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    No doubt, if we can play under such pressure where we don't know if cricket will ever come back to Pakistan or Pakistan may be kicked out of ICC, then we can play anywhere anytime against any giant (Eng. is not one). Pakistani team has replied in the best manner possible, with two wins and sends a signal to commentators like Ian Botham that we don't need sympathy to win a match, we have what it takes. I can assure you that if Asif and Amir were part of this team, we would have bagged the series by now. England targeted West Indies fast bowlers and have always been after Pakistan fast talent but they don't know, our fertile land continues to produce more and more. InshAllah we will win the 5th game as well. Fingers Crossed.

  • rao khalid on September 21, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    ths z wht we pakistan brand of cricket.......the thing abt us z tht u nvr know wht wl happen.

  • Faraz Qadri on September 21, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    Wonderful post Saad, its an exciting series now, i really pray and wish Pakistan win the 5th ODI. because it will be a wonderful and the best reply to the allegations and pressure we have been facing

  • Sajid Anjum on September 21, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Thanks for an excellent article. Pakistan team is an as unique asset of cricket and ICC and PCB should resolve these issue (if true) positively rather to be a part of a plan to destroy Pakistan cricket.

  • Salman on September 21, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    And by hastily clicking the TV off, you missed seeing live what you probably never will see again - Mohammad Yusuf taking quite a good catch :) From one mid-aged fan to another :)

  • Shreshth Dugar on September 21, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    Since the last few years, I'll be brutally honest and say that Pakistani cricket has given me little pleasure. I don't know why much is made of the likes of Afridis and Mohammad Yousuf, when they have been relatively average in the past couple of years.

    As a cricket fan, I am angered at what Pakistan has made of the international game. Think of Woolmer's mysterious death. Think of doping. Think of players throwing away games because they didn't like the skipper they were playing under. Think of the shooting on Sri Lankan players, not providing adequate security to an international cricket team.

    Pakistan, whatever the circumstances, has taken more from the game than it has given it? Sorry Wasim Akram. I am tearing up while I am writing this, but Pakistan needs to take a reprieve.

  • Billa on September 21, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    This article describes my sentiments as well, just in a lot lot better way...

  • arif on September 21, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    Nice and positive... That is Pakistan...It can never be bogged down whateve people try to do with its name. That is Pakistan, My Pakistan, Our Pakistan

  • Syed Ahmed Jamal on September 21, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    Saad Bhai: We should never allow cheap tabloid journalism hurt Pakistan cricket. Let the ICC proceed. We jyst want to make sure the tribunal id made of honest, impartial people. In the meantime, let us beat the heck out at their own game tomorrow! Best Syed

  • Assad Khan on September 21, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    Great piece of writing Saad. You are absolutly right about that pakistan cricket can change a person. I hope that pakistan insallah wins the serie and put their name back on the map.

  • Haroon on September 21, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    Ahh well done! i enjoyed it

  • Ali Shah on September 21, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Wow.....what a nice piece Saad. It really does get me back in the mood for cricket. You are fast becoming one of my favorite cricket writers..........awesome piece of writing........nothing has cheered me up so much during the past 3 weeks as much as this article has.......keep up the good work

  • Ali on September 21, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    Great Article!

  • Aamir on September 21, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    If someone accuses Pakistan then hey they must have done it, but if someone accuses England then oh nooo how is that possible !!!! Double standards. I think Ijaz Butt was trying to make a point there so that people can understand that accusing Pakistani players without concrete evidence and then punishing them without being found guilty HURTS the Pakistani people just like accusing the English team members hurts everyone in England. NO ONE should make a big deal and accuse the players unless proven guilty. This rule applies to all teams.

  • Umair Dar on September 21, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Great article Saad - you have captured the essence of being a passionate Pakistan cricket fan

    The boys really played like cornered tigers and in the words of the great Imran Khan - if the bits play like cornered tigers it doesn't matter if they win or lose at the Rose bowl.

    Strauss and co are already terrified and even before the match the excuses of their minds being distracted by allegations are already being bandied about - I find that utterly hilarious.

  • Khuram on September 21, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Thank you Mr.Shafqat for describing so accurately the state most of us were in towards the end of match.I wish the Pakistani commentator had the same enthusiasm.This person was very firmly snubbed by David Gower when Umar Gul was no-balled incorrectly by the English Umpire and this Pakistani former opennig batsman described it as just a "tight call".DG said no its a wrong call by the Umpire.

  • ASif Saleem on September 21, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Very well written article and just couldn't agree more with you.....such is the craze and commitment that i have been noticing with afridi and his team that its just hard to switch off the TV. My situation was no different while watching the match :)

  • Zee on September 21, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    Very well said. Last night show by Pakistan Cricket Team really show what pakistan cricket is about. They might have some problems but surely they know how to entertain crowd. Abdul Razzaq, Afridi, Gul, Shoaib and Hafeez played really well but we should give credit to Yousuf for such a brilliant catch.

    Well Done Pakistan. Best of Luck at Rose Bowl!!

  • Kamran on September 21, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    lets just talk about pure Cricket and only cricket and nothing about match fixing. The whole one day series has been excellent so far. Really nail biting matches and WOW....we will have an excellent final.

  • annony on September 21, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    please do also comment on the fact that english players were underprepared and disturbed due to allegations before the match and not able to perform as strauss commented but did any one spare a thought for the pakistani team spc the english media. look how duisturbed was TROTT. noone is pointing out at this

  • nav on September 21, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Nailed it bro...No matter how hard I try I cannot giv up on watching PAK cricket for the sole reason tht when they play stats seem to vanish...

  • Rashed on September 21, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Some things never change. I have been through the same.

    Great blog.Keep them comming.

  • rodzilla on September 21, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Your last para just sums it up.

    Gotta be the best team to follow in International cricket. Its like WWE and Star Plus Combined.

  • omer on September 21, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    ICC is a bunch of Morons

  • afridi on September 21, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    Superb article.....hit back ur critics with with such a powerful display of cricket....

  • Imran Haque on September 21, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    Nicely written Saad bhai...hope you are doing well. I agree with your article except for the images of the like of Md. Yousuf putting me to sleep. I am sorry to say but that beard is quite scary and would result in a nightmare more than a blissful dream! Hoping for better dreams....

  • Shahzad on September 21, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Good one! Saad. Lets hope than team can win tomorrow and finish the series on a high note. Things are best answered by a great victory in the field.

    Shahzad Khawaja, CPA CT, USA

  • kimi on September 21, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    well writen. i think in these desperate times we need article such as urs to keep up our morale. I am amazingly surprised by the way england chiief have called trot and wahab episode a closed matter when its evident that it is trot who was clearly on the wrong side of fence.in no time he declared it a finished episode. DOUBLE STANDARDS must say.this biased attitude doesnt surprise even me anymore coz its in their nature. 1992 is the best example ..they termed reverse swing as cheat swing n labeled our great fast bowlers as cheats and ball temperers.having said all this i believe it is our weak administration due to which we r facing so many crisis. incompetent patron and incompetent chairman. SHAME on the both of them as they have brought such shame and worst time for pakistan cricket.

  • Thor Odin on September 21, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Pakistan Zindabad...Pakistan Zindabad. All these corrupt no good sleazebags in our administration/politics trying to ruin our country but our great players still fight, and fight hard

  • abdullah on September 21, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Got to love these comments. All Pakistan player lets make a commitment that you will not lose any match from now on.

  • Faraz on September 21, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    great piece :) as a fan I have made and broken 'never-watch cricket again' resolutions countless times this year.. yet Umer Gul's last delivery crashing through the woodwork was enough to send me n my siblings in crazy fits of open-style bhangra :D what a game..

  • FA Bhatti on September 21, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Good article. Loved the bit where you muted the sound and shielded the eyes.. (something I tend to do when Pakistan is batting). The thing about Pakistan is that in-spite of everything going against it, with an incompetent administration and a team with some members having questionable work ethics, we still manage to produce excellent cricket. Hats off to the players who did it for Pakistan at a time when the going has gotten really tough.

  • M. Alam on September 21, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Very nice article and I fully agree with you. I must admit that Pakistanis are most dangerous once they are cornered. It is not only their cricket team but also a general feeling about the people from that part of the world. They are full of talent but most of the time they will waist it.

  • Asim on September 21, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    As usual another brilliant piece from Saad, I must admit he has portrayed our feelings very well in this article :)

  • Vishwa on September 21, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    I think, people should stop boasting about unpredictability of Pakistani team. When Pakistan plays, everything is predictable as far as bookies are concerned. Period.

  • Kamran on September 21, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    What an excellent read Saad. Way to go! Love you Pakistan cricket team!

  • Mohammad Asad on September 21, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA....

    Nice article Saad !!! Afridi & Co. were reorganizing from the 1st ODI...focussing upcoming WC.... It's good to see that they have overcome such a big crisis...( in exchange of 2 T20s...they were totally mentally depressed at that time )... Afridi has done a good job in bringing back the team spirit... If Pak players fight together..this team can achieve anything !!! Waqar has guts to handle any situation & doing a good job in overcoming the crisis ... As a PCB chairman; I. Butt needs to learn some diplomacy .... Is he suitable for this position ?????

  • naveed on September 21, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    A brilliant post, I was there at Lord's yesterday and was up and down like a yo-yo, I don't care what the i.c.c say, what ijaz butt says or what any newspaper writes, I love Pakistani cricket, have done for the past 25 years and will do until the day I kick the bucket, will be there again tomorrow cheering like a 37 year old maniac !

  • sadiqullah khan on September 21, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    thanx saad. pakistani like it when people write good things about pakistan cricket,especially in present times.i wish people would understand how important cricket is for pakistan and yet they want to take it away.people are sad.i am sure pakistan will win the 5 th and final one dayer and clinch the series 3/2.this will be a great news for pakistani's thru out the world.

  • Wahaj Ahmed on September 21, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    That is what Pakistan cricket is all about :) , Splendid stuff by them once again!

  • Syed ali hashmi on September 21, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    This latest Pak win is a kick in the teeth for all the cricketing pundits, including those at Cricinfo, who were begging for the tour to be cancelled after the defats in the 20-20 matches. They should hang their heads in shame. The one day series has been of excellent quality, with four close matches.

    Come on Pak team do us proud. One more win.

  • dark_jinx on September 21, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    great article! i felt exactly the same way when watching that match as well :D

  • Danish S on September 21, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    Growing up in the era of Imran, Javed and the two W's, cricket is engrained in my head. Once the spot fixing saga broke out I was adamant to stop watching and following cricket altogether, but then after a few days time I saw myself watching the T20's. A dismal performance their really convinced me to stop it again but another few days later I was thoroughly enjoying Pakistan's win at the Oval. The next morning I saw another controversy unfold. I know I'm (and almost all Pak fans are) resilient but how long can I keep going like this? Something's got to give sooner or later.

  • Rakha on September 21, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Wao great articulation about Mystery of Pakistan cricket

  • Omer Mumtaz on September 21, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    This is what i was telling my mates, the chrisma is back, we know how to hold pressure, we know how to collect ourselves together and pounce at pray, the more we are in trouble the better we get, real cornered tigers, YOU ARE TRYING TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM USS AND WE WILL REPLY BY WINNING IT, green is the colour green till death !!!

  • Soban on September 21, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Excellent article Saad Shafqat, the best line was, Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are. Very well said. Keep on coming up with more articles.

  • Adil on September 21, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Very nicely written, although I don't agree with this mindset of naming only Pakistan cricket circle when writes about "talks of match fixing and spot fixing", and you did the same, but I understand the general idea of this article is positive and I appreciate it.

  • omer on September 21, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    English Captain is a cheat,He was out nicked 3 or 4 times and only DRS made him walk back to dressing room,in one day game there is no DRS so he made a 100.If captain is acheat then just think about their media and commentators and umpires.Botham comments regarding banning Pakistan are Bias.On one hand you are asking for any evidence regarding PCB's Izaz Butt comments about english players and on the other hand you never raised any questions regarding English newspaper video.Such a double standards.We have seen in this series if you watch closly more LBW decision were given out against Pakistan even just clipping, Umpire decision withheld.Same kind of decisions not given against english players and result nor out Umpire decision upheld.SKy 3rd man can do some research on that one.

  • Confused on September 21, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    So a regulation skier taken by a Pakistani makes you feel like a teenager? And the 'forces of evil' need to take note of that?

  • Inayat ali on September 21, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    fantastic good article.

  • fred on September 21, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Let's face it, just about everyone has a price. And the bookies make a lot of money, don't want to lose it and will pay the price. For England to act so self-righteous that none of their players could have accepted bribes is nonsense. Yes we need proof, not accusations, but again playing a sting operation and tempting people is not right as they did with the Pakistani players, without any punishment for the NOTW. Perhaps the Pakistani's are poorer, or they are more accustomed to bribes but other cricketers are not pristine. The same principles should be applied - only suspend after conviction based on proof, and impose very strict penalties like treason. A couple of life imprisonments are the only way to save this great game.

  • Amir Gul on September 21, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    that was a sensational essay,got some goose bumps in the middle too....and the series was just breath taking,even the matches that pakistan lost....umar is just taking the weather in control,and the whole team is doing well...eagerly waiting for the last match...and daily looking in the news waiting for the allegations to be proved wrong...hope they arent found guilty...regards....

  • salman on September 21, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    Fantastic Article!! That truly explains the feelings of a die hard Pakistani fan

  • live786 on September 21, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    I feel angry not at Pakistan but at ECB who think whatever they say goes and thing they need to understand is that they are just like Pakistan another nation playing cricket. I also feel that the ECB along with IAN BOTHAM need to understand that life is a two way street when the allegations where against Pakistan they where perfectly happy and now that the tide has turned they are calling for a ban on Pakistani cricket. The real answer to their problems is that no cricketing nation cares about them and as well as the fact that they get less support in their own country for cricket when they are playing Pakistan. And the only problem with Ian is that he gets in a tantrum when he doesn’t like what is being said. I say time to grow up BEEFY and accept England is not the best team in the world at the moment. Also on the story regarding Ijazz Butt who is looking to get sued by the English players for accusing them of match fixing well look if it’s not the country that voices for human right for other countries I am sure it is clear in that everyone has “A RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SDPEECH REGARDLESS OF RACE OR RELIGION” so on what bases are they going to take legal action against. ENGLAND IS A TEAM OF HYPOCRITES

  • Ahmed on September 21, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    very nostalgic! awesome.

    i remember those days too.... yesterday was childhood scenes in action.

  • Ausman on September 21, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Nicely written piece Saad. You nailed it.

  • Omer Mumtaz on September 21, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    This is what i was telling my mates, the chrisma is back, we have power to hold ourselves collect ourselves together and hit back, YOU TRY TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM US AND WE WILL REPLY BY WINNING IT. The deeper we go in trouble the better we play, Hats off to Conered Tiger's. Green till death !!!

  • Touseef on September 21, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Nice Article... Really Nice, and I agree 101% with these Lines "That’s the deal with Pakistan. It may be a team that from time to time punches its fans in the stomach and kicks them in the face, but it is also a team that even in middle-age can make you feel like a teenager once again." We LOVE PAKISTAN, We Love Our Cricket and We Love Our Cricketers..

  • Manav on September 21, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Well said.

  • Ali on September 21, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Absolutely loved it yesterday. The best way to reply is by making your cricket do the talking...and boy did we do that.

    Maybe the English media should take a page out of our book and concentrate on the matches in the field rather than indulge in slander! No matter what happens on Wednesday I'm extremely proud of the way Pakistan have played this series...well-done!

  • Iq on September 21, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Well said. thats pakistan we are proud of. for better or for worst, this is what pakistani team is all about. in the depth of despair, we find a way to come out on top, same cannot be said for any other world calss team from any other country.

  • ChrisC on September 21, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    Pakistan have bowled well but then they have all tour. A large part in their success has been their fortune in winning the toss and bowling under lights with the dew forming. They looked pretty flakey until night began to fall.

  • Yasir Nawaz on September 21, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Yes! Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are.

  • XEE on September 21, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    It was a great come back considering a 100 plus opening partnership and that is at a very good rate. At one point the req rate was even below 5.

    Don't you think England fixed this too? That's what pak has to hear every time they lose a winning match :)

  • kumarvishal on September 21, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    great article. it was pleasent to watch star players back in form. afridi, shoaib,and razzaq all of them were mind blowing. after a long time we have seen change of gear by razzaq.

  • veezeel on September 21, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    love it its true i was watcing last 20overs with my 22 & 18 yrs sons & feeling was exactly what you said we were jumping up and down i can not say in words the feeling we were going through amazing truely amazing

  • Shahid on September 21, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    You right Saad, ask any non pakistani and he will tell you too that no other team plays so exciting cricket as the greens do. I wonder, how this 35 year old Shoaib still can bowl 95 miles deliveries.

  • Faizan Rehan on September 21, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    I agree with you totally, I am a teenager and I know exactly what you mean. Pakistan are unbeatable on their day!

  • M.Waqas on September 21, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    I agree with You Right From the beginning, Pakistan Team does make us Feel 15 Again from time to time especially Umar Gul's Laser Guided Yorkers and Strom Like Reverse Swing Keeps the Viewrs on the edge of their Seats.! Also the new inclusion in Pakistan's Top order Asad Shafiq he is a really promising Cricketer that would be on the Screen of the world cricket for some time.!

  • Faraz on September 21, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    Great article, go Pakistan!!! for it's efforts and a great display of team effort.

  • Adeel on September 21, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Dear All

    I just want to say that evry body is going to blame on Pakistan even ICC. ICC didnt take any action or any inquairy about England Cricket team or IPL 29 Players. Just they said that no there is no match fixing. what is this its not good. They should have to take notice about this one. Over Cricket Board is not strong. If some thing happning with india or any other board till now they will finish all the problem. Whatever we need Aamer to come back and please let him join the pakistani cricket team. He is not only Pakistani Player he is our Ashian best Bowler & we asia have to support him and world knows if Aamer join cricket again he will make so many recoad & he will make so many upset. i suject to ICC please give him or give them last warning and let them to play the game. Hope some body will read this one & he will understand and try to explane to ICC. Please if you have 100% or 110% proof then come to madia. Regards, Adeel Siddique Love with Cricket

  • Irfan Baig on September 21, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Cool. Love it..

  • Farrukh on September 21, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    nice article.

    What I can say about the beauty of this article. As it touched my heart.

    I want to Praise this article and I will just say "A beautiful article From a Pakistan cricket fan to a Pakistan cricket fan"

    May Allah guide us in life and especially in this game :)

  • Faisal Saeed on September 21, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    When Pakistan won 3rd ODI, Shahid Afridi said, it was the victory he was looking for. That comment seemed quite optimistic to me. But now I believe, it was the victory our team was waiting for. And now, Insha Allah, we will win the series. Once started, Pakistan is hard to stop... Story of 4th ODI written above is the story of every Pakistan cricket fan. It happened same way almost in every house. Everybody was almost indifferent until Razzaq got rid of his rust and gave his team a fighting score and viewers something to cherish about. Then Pakistan had to wait for a long time for the first wicket to fall and then it was a historical win. Will be remembered long time...

  • Farhan on September 21, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    very beautifully writen . Atleast you wrote on cricket and not on ECB praise and Ijaz butt remarks like other blogs. Thanks for the fine article.

  • Amjad on September 21, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    Emotional, Emotional and Emotional. thats all i will say. and yes i would like to add this to the last line: IN YOUR FACE EVILS, YOUR PLANNED OF DIVIDING AND HUNTING DOWN THE TEAM ON FRONT PAGES OF TABOLOIDS JUST BACKFIRED. TAKE THAT, IN YOUR FACE. Go Greeen, Go greeen.. DIl dil pakistan jan jan pakistan..

  • Kashif Mehmood on September 21, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    the last two paragraphs... very true, very Pakistani.

    "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are." the only thing missing is an exclamation mark after the opening 'Take that'

  • waterbuffalo on September 21, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    I do not understand how you can charge Pakistan for match -fixing in games that they won? So , every time Pakistan loses and wins they will be charged? Pakistan won the 3rd ODI, and Pakistan are the ones being investigated, england lost 5 wickets for 17, but no one charges them for anything. I'm sorry, it does not make sense to me. When Pakistan loses on purpose, I understand, ban the players, but Pakistan won two tests this summer against Australia and England, and now have won two ODI's against England, and they are the ones being investigated, seems to me like there is one rule for Pakistan and another rule for every other country. And I am not a Pakistan apologist, it just does not make sense to me at all.

  • Adeel on September 21, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    A very nicely written article and rightly termed as a team that can make u feel like a teenager. The irony of the current series is that any match won by any side could be questioned on how that is lost or won.

    At the end of the day, what an effort by Pakistani players despite the last one day in question by a mere biased media report.

    Double standards need to be purged as at one end an investigation is launched without any proofs on the wining team and on the other hand you do not question the fall of the winning side (in more then half of the game) twice in a row and to a second rate balling attack (their first rate bowlers are suspended already).

    Lets move on for the Game of Cricket and should not set such double standards for teams of equal respects.

  • Hasan Tanvir on September 21, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Sheer Brilliance!!! (Kamal kar diya Sir app nay, maza agaye article parh kar)

    I got goosebumps after reading your complete article, I am speechless how you ended it!!

    A standing ovation for you SIR :-)

  • KHURRAM GONDAL on September 21, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Well said. PAKISTAN is the only country which has given the GAME of CRICKET splendid cricketers. the cricketers who made this game popular even the foes admire their abilities. their is long list of these, Zaheer Abbas, Imran Khan, Javed MIandad, Ramiz, WAsim BAri, WAsim Akram, ASif, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Mushtaq Ahmed, ......................................

  • Asif on September 21, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Bravo! Very well written.

  • Gohar on September 21, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Great Article Saad Sb! This is what Pakistani Cricket all about. You never know what comes next, facial and body expression of Afridi at toss was notable, he came into lord's with only one Motive WIN for Pakistan Cricket. Let us hope that decider at Rose Bowl will be in favour of Afridi & Co. I hope they'll fight till the last drop of blood.

  • Umer Shafique on September 21, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    A fantastic article well done. Those who think pakistan can be defrauded and put to a suspension must rubb off their as again.............

  • khurram on September 21, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Excellent article, you almost wrote what i felt last night though i did not turn the tv off, but the feeling was the same. Yes they make you feel 15 and Take that forces of evil, whoever you are and wherever you are.

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  • khurram on September 21, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Excellent article, you almost wrote what i felt last night though i did not turn the tv off, but the feeling was the same. Yes they make you feel 15 and Take that forces of evil, whoever you are and wherever you are.

  • Umer Shafique on September 21, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    A fantastic article well done. Those who think pakistan can be defrauded and put to a suspension must rubb off their as again.............

  • Gohar on September 21, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Great Article Saad Sb! This is what Pakistani Cricket all about. You never know what comes next, facial and body expression of Afridi at toss was notable, he came into lord's with only one Motive WIN for Pakistan Cricket. Let us hope that decider at Rose Bowl will be in favour of Afridi & Co. I hope they'll fight till the last drop of blood.

  • Asif on September 21, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Bravo! Very well written.

  • KHURRAM GONDAL on September 21, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Well said. PAKISTAN is the only country which has given the GAME of CRICKET splendid cricketers. the cricketers who made this game popular even the foes admire their abilities. their is long list of these, Zaheer Abbas, Imran Khan, Javed MIandad, Ramiz, WAsim BAri, WAsim Akram, ASif, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Mushtaq Ahmed, ......................................

  • Hasan Tanvir on September 21, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Sheer Brilliance!!! (Kamal kar diya Sir app nay, maza agaye article parh kar)

    I got goosebumps after reading your complete article, I am speechless how you ended it!!

    A standing ovation for you SIR :-)

  • Adeel on September 21, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    A very nicely written article and rightly termed as a team that can make u feel like a teenager. The irony of the current series is that any match won by any side could be questioned on how that is lost or won.

    At the end of the day, what an effort by Pakistani players despite the last one day in question by a mere biased media report.

    Double standards need to be purged as at one end an investigation is launched without any proofs on the wining team and on the other hand you do not question the fall of the winning side (in more then half of the game) twice in a row and to a second rate balling attack (their first rate bowlers are suspended already).

    Lets move on for the Game of Cricket and should not set such double standards for teams of equal respects.

  • waterbuffalo on September 21, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    I do not understand how you can charge Pakistan for match -fixing in games that they won? So , every time Pakistan loses and wins they will be charged? Pakistan won the 3rd ODI, and Pakistan are the ones being investigated, england lost 5 wickets for 17, but no one charges them for anything. I'm sorry, it does not make sense to me. When Pakistan loses on purpose, I understand, ban the players, but Pakistan won two tests this summer against Australia and England, and now have won two ODI's against England, and they are the ones being investigated, seems to me like there is one rule for Pakistan and another rule for every other country. And I am not a Pakistan apologist, it just does not make sense to me at all.

  • Kashif Mehmood on September 21, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    the last two paragraphs... very true, very Pakistani.

    "Take that, forces of evil, whoever you are, wherever you are." the only thing missing is an exclamation mark after the opening 'Take that'

  • Amjad on September 21, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    Emotional, Emotional and Emotional. thats all i will say. and yes i would like to add this to the last line: IN YOUR FACE EVILS, YOUR PLANNED OF DIVIDING AND HUNTING DOWN THE TEAM ON FRONT PAGES OF TABOLOIDS JUST BACKFIRED. TAKE THAT, IN YOUR FACE. Go Greeen, Go greeen.. DIl dil pakistan jan jan pakistan..