World Twenty20 2012 October 4, 2012

No second teams anymore

There was a time during the India-SA game when I really suspected that someone was making SA flags out the back of the Prema and selling them for a few rupees
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There was a time during the India-South Africa game when I really suspected that someone was making South African flags out the back of the Prema and selling them for a few rupees. At first they weren't there, and then suddenly one whole stand was holding up the South African colours. The Pakistani fans were the ones holding the flags, as most of the South African fans had gone home.

During the India-Pakistan game it appeared like four out of five Sri Lankans at the game had adopted Pakistan as their home team. Thousands of fans had Sri Lankan shirts on and were waving Pakistan flags or had their face painted with the Pakistani flag on it. They were as Pakistani as you could get, for just the three hours.

It's been one of the highlights of this tournament. People picking their second country to follow, or following a whole new country just for qualification purposes while supporting them as much as they could, and the cheering of superhuman feats no matter whose team performs them.

That stopped tonight.

Outside the grounds I swear some of the very same people I saw screaming for Pakistan a few nights back were now chanting, "Go home Pakistan", "Bye, bye, Pakistan" or "Sri Lanka Zindabad". Pakistan fans coming out of the stadium were greeted by laughing or taunting Sri Lanka fans, who had long forgotten that Pakistan were their second favourite side and were now happily giving them some stick.

This is more of a party than a tournament. And I'm not just talking about what goes on player's hotel rooms. Because of the setting, the amount of games in quick succession and the nature of double headers, it's been far less patriotic than a bilateral series or even a World Cup. If you are here to support your country, you are probably also going to see neutral games as well. It's how this tournament is.

But tonight all that disappeared. The Sri Lankans had been cheering Chris Gayle, supporting the Pakistanis and getting excited at Shane Watson, but not any more. Tonight Pakistan was the opposition, not their second favourite team. Watson or Gayle can be sure that their sixes will be met largely by silence followed by an ICC firework.

The Sri Lankan fans can now see themselves winning this. They really want to win it. They even started partying like they were winning it. One fan drinking what appeared to be arrack, as he hung out of the sunroof of a car while wearing a Sri Lankan shirt and wrapped in a Sri Lankan flag, was certainly enjoying the victory. There seemed to be more fans outside the ground than could ever fit into the ground.

Most of them, when there wasn't a Pakistani fan to laugh at, were already calling Sri Lanka the champions. Why wait until Sunday when you can start celebrating now. The party bit of this tournament has definitely ended; the party in Sri Lanka may not end for quite some time.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fanedlive on October 8, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    This is A game please anyone have choice for supporting teams, even some pakistani was choicing Indian team for their good cricket. if sri lankan are supporting to Pakistan during match dont worry. Pak Lanka Friend ship zinda bad

  • fanedlive on October 8, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    Well, that's not something super weird as by large, we all do so. I m a Pakistani so automatically I support my Country in any sport they are participating in but I do support a second team. In cricket I support Australia and Srilanka respectively after Pakistan. Now it clearly means that when ever Australia or srilanka will meet another country, I ll support them. But for sure, when ever they ll meet Pakistan, My heartily support will be with Pakistan. So its quite natural that Lankan Fans were cheering for their country over Pakistan as Lanka is their homeland. We tested Lankan's support throughout the tournmament as they supported us. Their President also has given green signal for Pakistan tour, which is a brave sign after what happened to them in 09. So for me, Its not a decent article.

  • fanedlive on October 8, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    Pakistan and Sri Lanka have a good relation from some time now, Our government's support each other the cricket boards help each other whenever needed, I was sure Sri lanka will win but it turned the other way, and Pakistan always had gr8 support in Sri Lanka, everyone do support us there, and in a Cricinfo article i read Sri Lankan government have allowed their team to visit Pakistan again a great move :D

  • fanedlive on October 7, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    pakistan and srilanka have played so many matches between them that now they support each other when they are playing against someone else especially india...

  • fanedlive on October 7, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    There is very little credibility in this article from Jarrod Kimber and it seems to be nothing but a cheap journalistic push to gain popularity and fame. It refers to opinions expressed for a group but the sample is skewed....surely there will be some idiots amongst 30 thousand fans that flock to see a match. I am surprised that cricinfo cleared this article for publication. We like to read clever intelligent articles like those written by Wright Thomson,

  • fanedlive on October 7, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Indian arrogance especially in cricket has reaped it due return. Sri Lanka has always been closer to Pakistan than India. I am going to support Sri Lanka all the way in finals as a TV viewer as I did in the stadium when they won the world cup.

  • fanedlive on October 7, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Ur article is nothing but pure crap.I was at the stadium and there was no such case. Infact this was the friendliest crowd I have seen. At no point of time during the game i saw such hostility. I was sitting at a place surrounded by SL fans and was totally comfi. Even when Nasir Jamshed was given out many of them told me that this is bad. After the match I myself congratulated so many SL fans and so many SL fans told me that our team fought well. we discussed over a drink as how Hafeez dismissal contributed to the collapse otherwise Pak had taken the match. I do not know what was ur intention in writing this article but u r far far away from reality...

  • fanedlive on October 7, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    go srilanka go ...best wishes from pak :)

  • fanedlive on October 7, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Look,Jerrod. your motive (!!!) behind this article is clear, but no one is impressed. We, the people of Pakistan LOVE AND RESPECT the people of Sri Lanka, and we'll always do so. On Sunday evening, my heart will be wrapped around by Sri Lankan flag. O.K ?

  • fanedlive on October 6, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    We really think SL as our second team and wish them to win the title (after Pak has been eliminated)... and remember most of Pakis support SL so Mr. Jarrod Kimber a poor try...

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