June 20, 2009

Men with je ne sais quoi

Pakistan's march to the final is a tale of teams who sometimes do things nobody expects them to
96

Who knows how these things come about? Wonderful things happen in this world that we struggle to explain, and that is no bad thing. That, in fact, contributes to the very beauty of those things. Pakistan is replete with such inexplicability, not least those occasions when their cricket team is on a roll when absolutely nothing suggests they can be.

Consider how Pakistan came into this tournament. They had played a piffling 10 Tests and 50 ODIs since the beginning of 2007; no other side was that undercooked. Their last international home assignment was interrupted by a terrorist attack, which, in effect, meant they will not have any more home assignments for some time. And they weren't exactly rushed off their feet before then. They weren't allowed by their own government to take part in the IPL, and in short found themselves outcasts as cricket was reborn.

When they arrived in England, they practised and played fully burdened by this. Some of their performances - wins and losses - only reaffirmed their general rustiness. They dropped more catches than Oprah lost pounds, they didn't find the right XI until the second game of the Super Eights. Their captain, apparently, wasn't taking the whole thing seriously enough; that he was among the tournament's leading run-scorers, even though his own chief selector didn't think him a Twenty20 player, only revealed how the rest of the batting was struggling. The bowling hit and missed. Not to forget, of course, the permanent rumours of rifts, cliques and intrigues, in the absence of which it is entirely plausible the whole Pakistani state might collapse.

And yet here they stand, on the verge of winning a tournament nobody outside their own camp (and only some inside it) really gave them a shot at. A triumph it already is, come what may Sunday. Astrophysics may be easier to comprehend than this situation, even if it is unlikely astrophysics has ever brought as much joy as this.

****

It has been an uneven, uplifting ride, in the best traditions of Pakistan. It is the kind that lights up a big tournament. Just to know that they are still capable of it is relief in itself; indeed the worst fear over the last two years was that Pakistan had succumbed to the curse of bland mediocrity. But to know that they are still capable of doing what they did to South Africa in the same fortnight as what they allowed England to do to them, is to know that the soul of all Pakistan sides is alive and well.

It is a complex soul, built on tigerish defiance, outlandish talent and bravado but also drama, tragedy and farce all at once. It is not entirely what we saw in the 1999 World Cup, for that was a strangely well-grooved, dominant Pakistan. It wasn't entirely what we saw in the inaugural World Twenty20 either, for even then Pakistan seemed eerily consistent. No, this run has been of a piece with, as nobody in Pakistan has forgotten, the 1992 World Cup, where, for no obvious reason, Pakistan suddenly transformed from a mohalla second XI into the world's best. Everything came together to some great, central magnetic pull, as if it inevitably had to, in a wonderfully calculated way even though almost none of it was calculated.

The progress has been visceral, based on instincts good and bad, using mostly their acute lack of international cricket to play with real verve and energy, a real hunger to perform on the big stage so often denied to them. They have progressed for no other reason than that they have wanted it more than others

Then, as now, Pakistan played a succession of do-or-die games and lived to not just tell the tale but boast about it. Not always, but often, that situation brings out the fight in Pakistan. It makes sense in a way when Shahid Afridi says he plays each game as if it is his first and last. It is a curious way of approaching sport, but he isn't alone in that, and if you have four do-or-die games, as Pakistan have had in this tournament, it isn't the worst attitude in the world to go into them with. If it doesn't scramble focus, it sharpens it.

Then, as now, they have sensed momentum and grasped it, not fully in control but riding it nevertheless. How it's found is arbitrary. In 1992, the win against Australia and a legendary talking-to sparked it. Here, Afridi's catch turned not only the game against New Zealand, but Pakistan's tournament. And suddenly, inexplicably, things began to fall into place, a chain reaction that simultaneously made sense and no sense.

One XI was settled upon at just the right time, openers found, batting order rejigged, and it has rolled along since. Abdul Razzaq's return was not spectacular, but his impact was vital. His two wickets set up the New Zealand win, but his threat - perceived or real - with bat freed up Afridi. Such things are not planned and cannot be accounted for. Other heroes emerged swiftly; Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Aamer, even young, ungainly Shahzaib Hasan, all rallying around a captain, who by the time South Africa came along, was not smiling so much any more, or treating the whole shebang as a bit of fun.

What didn't fall into place simply ceased to matter. They dropped two catches against South Africa and their wicketkeeper had his first poor game in some time behind the stumps. But it didn't matter, for at critical moments it went right for them, like Shoaib Malik's calm pocketing of a Jacques Kallis loft, and even Fawad Alam's direct hit to send back Albie Morkel. Aamer had forgotten to run to the non-striker's end to collect Alam's throw, a very basic lapse that ultimately didn't matter.

So much have things fallen into place that, just as in 1992, when Imran Khan shunned prevalent bowling caution and told his attack to forget about extras and only concern themselves with wickets, so Pakistan rendered tenets of modern-day cricket a little less relevant in this tournament. Preparation, fitness, fielding, discipline, unity and multi-dimensional players - these have mattered less as Pakistan have gone along, and in a sense that has made it even more wonderful, this happy, uncaring mockery of the way professional sport is heading. The progress has been visceral, based on instincts good and bad, using mostly their acute lack of international cricket to play with real verve and energy, a real hunger to perform on the big stage so often denied to them. They have progressed for no other reason than that they have wanted it more than others.

****

How necessary this run was, too, unlike 1992. Pakistan was a safer country then and a safer bet in cricket. There is no need to recount in detail what is happening to the country. There is war in parts of it and not much cheer in the rest. Conflicts have weighed heavily on the minds of at least three players from the particularly unsettled NWFP. It is apt that the trio - Afridi, Younis and Gul - have done most to drag Pakistan to where they are, but no player is immune to the gloom. Good news was needed desperately and not for the first time - but for the first time in a long time - cricket has been the bearer. The mood will not change drastically whatever happens against Sri Lanka.

It was necessary also in this uncertain new world of cricket, where there is more money and less time, a world which was in danger of passing Pakistan by. By reaching the final of the premier World Twenty20 event twice, Pakistan has said to one and all that they are still a force, no matter what the strife, that they cannot be ignored or sidelined in this world. Men such as Afridi, Gul, Akmal and Ajmal cannot be ignored in this world. They can contribute richly to it.

Pakistan matters because no team could have pulled off what they have just pulled off and in the manner they did. Their march has not been just a great cricketing tale or a fine sporting one; it is a simpler, more important one of how men do things sometimes nobody expects them to, of how from any darkness light can emerge. Even if we're not sure how the tale was written, how long it will go on and when, or whether, it will happen again, we must celebrate it, be grateful for it and not forget it.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ArshadSid on June 21, 2009, 19:37 GMT

    Master piece... Mr. Osman.. u r really a gifted person.. Mr. Truth Bearer seems to be a disappointed Indian fan .. better luck next time..

  • Abjad_Hawwaz on June 21, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    Many CONGRATULATIONS to those from PAKISTAN and those who love good Cricket!!! Blessings can come in unpredictable ways. It is our hope and prayer that today's win may in some way provide the sparkle for the nations unity and strength that has yet to be recognized and celebrated too. Eventhough improbable, couldn't the similar formula apply in response to many other woes plaguing the fledgling and struggling country and a nation at the brink of ultimate doom? The win although superficial, still hints the spark that remains eventhough the candle has been trampled so many times. I thought this article, although celebratory, did provide the objectivity and a sense of what could be the spirit of down and out underdogs.

  • msusmani on June 21, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    Excellent article Osman. You remind me of Omar Qureshi some times. It's true that Pakistan has achieved more than it was thought by anyone. Well done Pakistan and Osman. All of you have made us proud. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • chohdrysandhu on June 21, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Amazing comment by Sangakarra that he is wary of Pakistan's 'unpredictability, made me laugh. Because it is Sri Lanka's captain saying it not Australia's. Someone needs to remind him of the profoundly illustrous record Pakistan holds' against his side and New Zealand. Funny but true that we can safely say that both Sri Lanka and New Zealand have been Pakistan's bunnies.

    Pakistan can only lose this final, if they try to be something thet are not, that is, traditionalists.

  • Fahad_Imam on June 21, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    Very good article osman with realistic approach , I totally agree with your comments that still passion worth more than any thing fr wining matches. Certainly Pakistan has strong passion which always eminent themselves as their competency from other playing nations . Wasim akram the legend of world cricket expressed similar views at the end of victory of Pak on semifinal over SA that at the strt of the tournament he told his commentary team that Pak will be the hot favorite fr this world cup bt they were laughing over him ..but time has now tld that certainly this team has a chance fr winning although it looked more than a fallacy at strt . nd legend himself know that his team has strong passion which I think merely not in other teams esp Aus , SA and Indians. A time has camed for cheering Pakistanis entourages from victory of this world INSHALLAH

  • pakistanisharjeel on June 21, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    osman Bahi well done u r doing a great job for this so badly affected nation...........i proud to be a pakistaniiiiiiii and this T20 team have impressed me i still think we need imran nazir,rana ,asif and shoib as resources................ i proud pakistan and i proud on you Osman bahi u r a great artisit.....

  • TurboKam512 on June 21, 2009, 6:44 GMT

    truth_bearer, Indians are out doesnt mean subcontinent is, consider Pakistan your ally and i'm sure you'll enjoy it as well, the important thing is that sub-con teams are up there in the final and thats th ething to be proud of. "it does'nt matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning, " - so yeah what ever it takes, the SA's always feared Pak and it just showed and proved how and why. Lets enjoy this greatness and hope they can finish with the final blow and take the t20 world cup.

  • Amit-Tehseen on June 21, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    This is probable the first time i'll be cheering for Pakistan and this is certainly not the last. I cannot forget the love and support Pakistanis showered upon the Indians during the 2003-04 visit to Pakistan at the same time I cannot forget the horrible events taking place in Mumbai and in some parts of Pakistan. Its a mixed feeling but I know majority of Pakistan is a beautiful place. There are few who want to spoil the love that simmers within the common man in both the countries.

    I'll love to see our two countries fight the world together rather than let the world see the two of us fight each other.

    All the Best, Pakistan Love India

  • cgkirtikar on June 21, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    Well played Mr. Osman. You captured the spirit of Pak cricket and gave refreshing bird's eye view of the most unpredictable, expasperating yet enthralling team in world cricket. I doubt if any other cricketing nation has been through more emotional and political turmoil than Pakistan. Even the Zimbabwean zealot Mugabe pales into the background, as the team is not even a smidgen as charismatic as Pakistan. It is really heartening to see the soul of Pakistan's brave brand of cricket alive and well. I wish them the best of luck in the final. Every diehard Indian fan I know, will already be seething and calling me a traitor for not backing the Indian team. I really believe the Indian team will do well to take a leaf out of the Pak team's book in terms of the raw energy and enthusiasm that they have displayed in this tournament. Its simply been the two most enthusiastic teams that have gone through to the finals. May the best team win.

  • ashish15 on June 21, 2009, 3:07 GMT

    wonderful article. I was upset to see India go out, but my interest in the tournament was revived after I saw the manner in which Pakistan defeated the proteas. Will definitely be cheering for them tonight!

  • ArshadSid on June 21, 2009, 19:37 GMT

    Master piece... Mr. Osman.. u r really a gifted person.. Mr. Truth Bearer seems to be a disappointed Indian fan .. better luck next time..

  • Abjad_Hawwaz on June 21, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    Many CONGRATULATIONS to those from PAKISTAN and those who love good Cricket!!! Blessings can come in unpredictable ways. It is our hope and prayer that today's win may in some way provide the sparkle for the nations unity and strength that has yet to be recognized and celebrated too. Eventhough improbable, couldn't the similar formula apply in response to many other woes plaguing the fledgling and struggling country and a nation at the brink of ultimate doom? The win although superficial, still hints the spark that remains eventhough the candle has been trampled so many times. I thought this article, although celebratory, did provide the objectivity and a sense of what could be the spirit of down and out underdogs.

  • msusmani on June 21, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    Excellent article Osman. You remind me of Omar Qureshi some times. It's true that Pakistan has achieved more than it was thought by anyone. Well done Pakistan and Osman. All of you have made us proud. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • chohdrysandhu on June 21, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Amazing comment by Sangakarra that he is wary of Pakistan's 'unpredictability, made me laugh. Because it is Sri Lanka's captain saying it not Australia's. Someone needs to remind him of the profoundly illustrous record Pakistan holds' against his side and New Zealand. Funny but true that we can safely say that both Sri Lanka and New Zealand have been Pakistan's bunnies.

    Pakistan can only lose this final, if they try to be something thet are not, that is, traditionalists.

  • Fahad_Imam on June 21, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    Very good article osman with realistic approach , I totally agree with your comments that still passion worth more than any thing fr wining matches. Certainly Pakistan has strong passion which always eminent themselves as their competency from other playing nations . Wasim akram the legend of world cricket expressed similar views at the end of victory of Pak on semifinal over SA that at the strt of the tournament he told his commentary team that Pak will be the hot favorite fr this world cup bt they were laughing over him ..but time has now tld that certainly this team has a chance fr winning although it looked more than a fallacy at strt . nd legend himself know that his team has strong passion which I think merely not in other teams esp Aus , SA and Indians. A time has camed for cheering Pakistanis entourages from victory of this world INSHALLAH

  • pakistanisharjeel on June 21, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    osman Bahi well done u r doing a great job for this so badly affected nation...........i proud to be a pakistaniiiiiiii and this T20 team have impressed me i still think we need imran nazir,rana ,asif and shoib as resources................ i proud pakistan and i proud on you Osman bahi u r a great artisit.....

  • TurboKam512 on June 21, 2009, 6:44 GMT

    truth_bearer, Indians are out doesnt mean subcontinent is, consider Pakistan your ally and i'm sure you'll enjoy it as well, the important thing is that sub-con teams are up there in the final and thats th ething to be proud of. "it does'nt matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning, " - so yeah what ever it takes, the SA's always feared Pak and it just showed and proved how and why. Lets enjoy this greatness and hope they can finish with the final blow and take the t20 world cup.

  • Amit-Tehseen on June 21, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    This is probable the first time i'll be cheering for Pakistan and this is certainly not the last. I cannot forget the love and support Pakistanis showered upon the Indians during the 2003-04 visit to Pakistan at the same time I cannot forget the horrible events taking place in Mumbai and in some parts of Pakistan. Its a mixed feeling but I know majority of Pakistan is a beautiful place. There are few who want to spoil the love that simmers within the common man in both the countries.

    I'll love to see our two countries fight the world together rather than let the world see the two of us fight each other.

    All the Best, Pakistan Love India

  • cgkirtikar on June 21, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    Well played Mr. Osman. You captured the spirit of Pak cricket and gave refreshing bird's eye view of the most unpredictable, expasperating yet enthralling team in world cricket. I doubt if any other cricketing nation has been through more emotional and political turmoil than Pakistan. Even the Zimbabwean zealot Mugabe pales into the background, as the team is not even a smidgen as charismatic as Pakistan. It is really heartening to see the soul of Pakistan's brave brand of cricket alive and well. I wish them the best of luck in the final. Every diehard Indian fan I know, will already be seething and calling me a traitor for not backing the Indian team. I really believe the Indian team will do well to take a leaf out of the Pak team's book in terms of the raw energy and enthusiasm that they have displayed in this tournament. Its simply been the two most enthusiastic teams that have gone through to the finals. May the best team win.

  • ashish15 on June 21, 2009, 3:07 GMT

    wonderful article. I was upset to see India go out, but my interest in the tournament was revived after I saw the manner in which Pakistan defeated the proteas. Will definitely be cheering for them tonight!

  • khurram_tareen on June 21, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    Great article Mr. Osman, and well done team Pakistan, we are hoping not less than a victory from Pakistani Tigers...Long Live Pakistan

  • lethalbouncer on June 21, 2009, 1:48 GMT

    Osman - very nicely penned. You've captured the manic drama of the Pakistani spirit and the current bleak backdrop in Pakistan. With so much bad news in Pakistan politically, the lack of cricket has been truly disheartening. Cricket lovers (and for that matter Pakistanis that know nothing about cricket) are excited about this dramatic turnaround. Lets see if they can carry their mojo into the final. Despite the fact that SL has a fantastic team and some serious match winners, I'm betting on Pakistan to win the the final in pretty convincing fashion. The Pakistani batting will have to fire like it did against SL - they will have to blunt the SL attack in the first 6 overs with calculated aggression like they did against SA. Afridi, Akmal, Younis, Razzak and Misbah will need to fire. Malik up the order really slows down the scoring even if it was a stabilizer in the last game, so hopefully Younis will be a bit strategic about using his batsmen. It will be a great game!

  • ateequrrahman on June 21, 2009, 0:48 GMT

    well Mr Usman we all hope the best from Pakistan today. There nation needs few happy moments and this is the right way.

  • mhkarne on June 21, 2009, 0:34 GMT

    An absolutely brilliant article. Hope Pakistan lifts the trophy come Sunday..

  • Kayhanb on June 20, 2009, 22:08 GMT

    We were written off before the tournament and now as finalists. SHOCK THE WORLD BOYS and never let them doubt you again!

  • Jeetu100 on June 20, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    I always read your articles with relish as they are honest practical articles, no high lofted idealisms and you call a spade a spade. Congratulations, enjoy the moment, Mr Samiuddin, may Pakistan win! And very well said Osman. that Pakistan rendered tenets of modern-day cricket a little less relevant in this tournament, fitness, fielding, discipline, unity and multi-dimensional players - these have mattered less as Pakistan have gone along, yes after all cricket is a game of talent.

  • Anam on June 20, 2009, 21:10 GMT

    A great article my Osman again...i agree this is a time for WIN...its time to prove ourselves with all the sides politically isloating Pakistan as a team..i wish them best of luck..

  • Sajid_Bangash on June 20, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    it's heart breaking article...Speachless! i couldnt wait to register to make comments...I love Pakistan.

  • truth_bearer on June 20, 2009, 20:30 GMT

    Sorry to be the lone dissenter here. But I honestly can not understand the fascination people have with teams and/or players that can do unpredictable things. Yes, Shahid Afridi was brilliant and Pakistan played well as a team on that one day which happened to be the semi-finals. My appreciation for the man and the team is limited to exactly that. Would any of you fans bet against South Africa if it was best of 3, instead of just one game, even after South Africa were down a game ? I prefer teams that play true to their character regardless of the outcome, rather than a team that HAS to play uncharacteristically to win.

  • CeeDee on June 20, 2009, 19:54 GMT

    This is a brilliant article. I can always trust Osman Samiuddin to produce something so true and relevant yet so touching and emotional.

  • Hyderabadi-Nawab on June 20, 2009, 19:41 GMT

    Hi Mr Osman I am very glad to say u brother I had read so many Articles in my life but tell u one thing none of them made me cry, tears fell out of my eyes onto the laptop what an article i cant describe it really may God bless u & all of us. Keep up the good work. I am an Indian But still i want Pakistan to win this Final..........

    Thanx

    Regards, shams

  • lawreee on June 20, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    Well written Osman.All the best Pakistan.....Lawree, India

  • imranm on June 20, 2009, 19:14 GMT

    One of the greatest articles written by Mr Osman. I think as a pakistani and big cricket fan from here on who ever wins its crickets vicotry. Ofcourse i would want pakistan to complete this cindrella story but sri lanka have also played some good cricket. Pakistan's journey to final is success in it self not matter what the result is we should appreciate their effort and back them all the way. Good Luck to Pakistan, and InshAllah we will win.

  • Baig.Momin on June 20, 2009, 19:07 GMT

    I think that Pakistan will lose to sri lanka but i will pray that they will win

  • chavavk on June 20, 2009, 19:04 GMT

    In the match against SA, younis made tactical blunder of using Umar Gul for only three overs. Had pak lost, the whole world has been discussing this. Hope Younis learn from sucess too.

  • sabanas on June 20, 2009, 18:38 GMT

    Fantastic article Mr. Saimuddin. You hit the nail in the head when you said Pakistan wanted it more than others. They will be facing another team that wanted it badly too in the finals. Good Luck to pakistan. It would be hugely detrimental to cricket if a country which has consistently produced some of the most talented and enigmatic cricketers gets ignored are left aside by the commercial juggernaut that is hurtling the game along these days. T20 is a format particularly suited to throw surprises and gives a chance for the ones who can desire and dream against the odds. India were underdogs two years back when they lifted the cup and IT IS pakistan's turn now. Hope the inconsistency doesn't rear its head tomorrow as a great game is in the offing.

  • dilchasp on June 20, 2009, 18:27 GMT

    I don't know, I just want to hear the song DIL DIL PAKISTAN JAAN JAAN PAKISTAN again, the way it was played in the stadium after Pakistan beat South Africa. The song is great and the moment was great. I want to enjoy the moment again when Pakistan will beat the islanders. Go Pakistan go, and CRUSH Sri Lanka! Just one win, and the all Pakistanis all over the world, will be elated. I am already imagining Younis khan holding the cup with his million dollar smile. This is the time for team pakistan to deliver 110% of their mighty power. The players are playing for the pride, and I agree with Younis khan, that pakistan is a slow starter, but once they start it is impossible to stop them. PAKISTAN KO ROKNA MUSHKIL HI NAHIN, NAMUMKIN HAI !

  • tacool1 on June 20, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    Dear Mr. Osman, THANK YOU very much for putting the words, we had been waiting for. After reading the Semi Final Previews, I thought the world was thinking of us a dead Horse. GOD is great and he has restored our pride in our nation and in our team. We see players of different ethnic cultures cluster together as a force. Our boys have made us proud, and GOD ALL MIGTY give them the reward and respect that they fully deserve. In our desperate times, they have brought us the fresh air that the whole nation wanted so desperately. I pray for them for the Finals, even if we don't still I expect our nation to give them a hero's welcome, when they come back home. They deserve it. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

  • Pavvinph on June 20, 2009, 18:01 GMT

    Dear Mr Osman a well said article... Pakistan have to win the final this time as they deserved too.... This is good for the nation and for cricket too. I was a great fan of Indian team.. but wishing from the bottom of my heart to Yunus and Co to win the title for thair country.. Hope the cricket returns to the Pakistan soon in style.

  • MALIKS143 on June 20, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    Afridi is the pride of Pakistan and the efforts he made to get into the semi final are incredible.It was a fantastic and mind blowing catch in the match.Shahzeb is having very good start and he will be successful in future and Umer Gul is bowling very well also and putting his all efforts. I am pretty sure that if Pakistani team will continue this effort in final then INSHALLAH Pakistan will bring this trophy. Younus Khan is organizing the team in a very well manner. PAKISTAN ZINDA BAAD

  • Sorcerer on June 20, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Tigerish defiance, outlandish talent - Osman your writing captures the essence of your style too neatly.

    This performance of Pak should sereve as a reminder in the future too to all the fans out there who have on occasions given up hope about the freakishly talented mercurial assortment of cricketers that is the Pak team. What our team brings to the cricketing fray is quite indispensible as much as it is pure joy to witness the brilliance of a naturally talented temperamental XI.

  • m7floyd on June 20, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Beautiful article but i wish it was written after Pakistan won the championship. No one remembers a runner-up.

  • pareekshith on June 20, 2009, 17:07 GMT

    brilliant article. just hope that they go all the way this time. nice to see the two countries in the final given the tumultuous time their countries are having,

  • Hyder933 on June 20, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    This is the best article I have read so far...awesome work Mr.Osman...The fact that Pakistan has managed to make it to the final...leaving all the other teams except SL behind has already lifted our spirits high...even though winning the final is important..Pakistan have already achieved a lot by reaching the final...Pakistan Zindabad !

  • AkhOn on June 20, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    Always read your articles Osman and have always found them to be great reads however this one mate touches the heart. Come on Pakistan!

  • Subra on June 20, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Dear Mr Osman A wonderful article written with your heart - which must have shattered to pieces that fateful day in Lahore. Yes, a strong resurgent Palkistan team is necessary for cricket, just as I would like to see all the countries having good teams - because it will raise the level of the game. While I am hoping for a good game, being a Sri Lankan born (although living for the last 50 years in Singapore) I will be praying very hard for a Sri Lankan win. But let the game rise from the Ashes of Lahore! Siva from Singapore

  • shabbirsheriff on June 20, 2009, 15:15 GMT

    Cheers Mr. Osman - very emotional and yet very sporty - Good Luck Pakistan - take the game as FUN and win it - bring the cup home.

  • Assadd on June 20, 2009, 14:51 GMT

    Another amazing article by Osman Samiuddin..

    Congratulations Osman on writing such good article.. It is really great to see the way you write and analyze Pakistan Cricket. Your previous article about Umar Gul was amazing and as Ahmadsana wrote "No one can put the story in a manner you put". We feel proud to have you. Thanks Alot brother. And we hope you'll continue this good work of yours and will make us feel good.

    Lets pray for our team for tomorrow's final.. InshAllah we will win.. Celebrations must take place in the country regardless of a win or lose!!

  • Dr_Mamoon on June 20, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Usman has again come up with an article that is true reflection of all Pakistanis. When I came back from Pak England game the comments on media were so depressing like this is the end of pak cricket. But after the pakistan win against NZ , the mood on Oval streets was like we have already won the world cup. I was about to run over by a car while dancing in the middle of the road with pak flag.I was just wondering if there is so much jubilation in london , back home this lll be a breath of fresh air after all we have gone through recently as a nation. You are right usman wether we win or lose tomorrow it harldy matters. Our green shirts have made us proud. And above all we have something to cheerish for a while... Dil Dil Pakistan Jaan Jaan Pakistan !

  • cornered_tigers on June 20, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    Oh my God,i just dream to be singing we are the champions,pakistan only need to pull off 1 big win at Lord's,a perfect article by Osman,thoroughly fits the mood

  • simplyfsl on June 20, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Great Column as usual Usman,Well all the points you raised are cool,its great to reach final and Pakistan deserves credit for that but still a Win in a WIN.How many of us remember the World Cup Finalists,None,We all know who won the 92 world cup and 96',99' and so on,No one from Pak gives credit to Pak for reaching final in 99', and even Indians never recall their great run in 2003' till Australia demolished them..Cricket is a winners' game and we need a win for Pakistan more than ever...

    We need a win to show all those who are pushing PCB into the corner,to the Foreign media which always treats us as JOKE..Being miles away from Pak arounf Indians,British,I tell you,this is more than a Final...Its PROVING POINT,and we should shut the odds....

  • DrMaximus on June 20, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    Only one team can make it happen and this happens only in Pakistan. The first drop of rain in this scorching desert of desertation, both politically and on the sports field. I have been in the UK for the past 2 months and I can just say that for the first time in the last 2-3 years, I was actually crying for joy when I switched on the TV. Maybe its time that people in Pakistan took their national team as a role model and do what they are capable off, that not doing what is thought custom can be the right way. Maybe its time for a change...a revolution.... Maula Pakistan Ki Madad Karay....

  • HASANK on June 20, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    Brillant article Osman bhai.i am so happy with the Pakistan team in this tournament, they were shockng in the warm u games. however, they bouced back quick an big time. the inclusion of Abdul Razzaq has took some pressure of Shahid bhai, and he is really showing the world how good a cricketer he really is. the skipper has been brilliant I dont know why Abdul Qadir was criticsing him so much, he has show us all that he has the mentality to of a top captain. the only worry i have is pakistan feelng the nerves on the big stage. but this is where the senior players come in e.g. afridi, razzaq, malik, akmal, younis etc. I dont know why people are critiscing Shoaib Malik he is a unique cricketer one of Pakistans best player now. the bes fielder in the team a very stylish batsmen and a handy bowler. on sunday pakstan have to play their hearts out. COME ONE PAKISTAN!!!!! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • harikr on June 20, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    i never tend to miss reading Mr samiuddin's articles and this was also exceptional. Indeed any cricket loving fan would have to praise the pakistani team for what they have achieved till now and all the very best for the finals hari krishna

  • immubhai on June 20, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    what a beautiful read. I extra took time to get registered just to post an appreciation note for this beautifully written read. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • PakbornAmerican on June 20, 2009, 13:37 GMT

    Thank you Usman sahab. Beautiful, uplifting article. Pakistan's performance is a reflection of our true collective character. It is not a random outcome, rather a glimpse of what we are truly made of. Being open to truth and willing to see things differently can produce some great outcomes. Same goes for the Sri Lankans too. Amazing how teams from two countries tarnished by so much in-fighting can rise to the occasion and put up a charismatic display that is admired by the whole world. Rising from adversity, playing as a team, setting aside all the difference and defeating some of the most formidable opponents is a feat always to be remembered. Same traits can be applied to all walks of life.

    Good luck Pakistan!

  • Koushik_Biswas on June 20, 2009, 13:24 GMT

    Beautiful article. The Paki team has defied all odds. They are an inspiration, a collection of energy and focus. They should win the cup, though SriLanka is probably more methodical. Afridi should stick to his "responsible shot selection mode". In fact, its time for him to make a permanent switch to that mode - he is such a senior, respected and richly talented player that he should never have to deal with post match questions like why did you have to play that shot? As an Indian, supporting Pakistan would have been a no-brainer if West Indies was here. But now we have two neighbors. I still support Pakistan, as their story is more heroic, more soul-stirring, more uplifting. I do not like the way Mendis says "no batsman has figured me out" - check his record against Sachin. He is lucky he does not bowl to Jayasurya. Afridi will tear him apart if he gets his eyes in. Can't wait for that to happen. He should not be so conceited at this age. I am already salivating for the final!! Jai Ho!

  • Dr_Omar_Khan on June 20, 2009, 12:52 GMT

    Wow. What a beautiful piece. You've always written well but this is probably one of the best articles I've read from you, not just in content but more in manuscription.

  • Kamran_Malik on June 20, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    Pakistan has shattered in to million little pieces as a country in all aspects but your words Osman are brilliant and help join all these pieces in to one by winning the trophy InshALLAH.

  • BEATLEWORLD on June 20, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    What a brilliant article, captures the mood brilliantly, hats off to you Osman.....apart from the first warm up game against south africa I have been to all the games, after every loss when I got home I swore to myself I would never go to another, but there's this something inside you that knows that this team can do better and that 2 years ago wasn't a fluke, we really do have a damn good cricketing team, who on one day can crumble to minnows and on the next can stuff the very best, you wouldn't wish this sort of team on anyone except yourselves, supporting them is one of the craziest rollercoaster rides you'll ever experience, trying to keep your feet on the ground is a near impossibility, my dad says "they've always been like this" .... roll on super sunday, I'll be taking my seat at Lords, thinking "where & when did it all go right ?" one more game one more great performance and we'll be champions of the world...boy oh boy does that sound cool or what ????

  • romit_dhar on June 20, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    All the Best to Pakistan Cricket Team ... This is a good article and shows clearly that raw talent cannot be replaced by methodical routines ... which unfortunately most teams think as a strategy for success ...

    Cheers to all the people and the support ...

  • KHAN_AZAM on June 20, 2009, 12:11 GMT

    Dear Mr. OSMAN being a regular reader of your articles i must say that this is not your article, this is the feeling of all the Pakistani's all over the world and at the time i would like to appreciate TheHooker's comments on this (Article) regardless of the final result this is the universal truth that the cricketing country like Pakistan and the cricketers like Pakistani cricketers can not be isolated or ignored in cricket world I would like to suggest PCB to consider Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat and the other energetic cricketers also in order to have a hard competition for the opening pair through which we can have a good opening players and backup players also.

  • Ahmadsana on June 20, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    Thanky You Osman, No one can put the story in a manner you put

  • Kash-Hussain on June 20, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    It is a very apt comment and ironic as well, that although the entire Pakistan cricket team deserves congratulations for its superlative effort, but the 3 most outstanding contributions have been from Younis Khan (highest scorer for Pak and a Captain with a daring attitude), Umer Gul (the best bolwer of the tournament) and Shahid Afridi (for his wonderful bowling, fielding and finally a good batting performance) all hail from NWFP. A beautiful region of the country suffering through very little fault of its own, these 3 men hav made Pakistan proud and their own Pasthuns even prouder!

  • Mohsin_Irshad on June 20, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    Great article ...Certainly, this Win has given us happiness and joy. For me, it doesn't matter if we win the final or not. We have sent the message to this whole cricket world that CRICKET IS NOTHING WITHOUT PAKISTANI TEAM..

  • usman4ud on June 20, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    There are a lot of praise all around about Pakistan, I am agreed with them, I am also a fan of Pak Cricket.

    Semi Final ( PAK Vs SAF)

    But there are soem things required to be highlighted: 1.. Why Younis Khan came on batting after Afridi departed, Some one like Abdur Razaq followed by Misbah & younis respectively can be a better move. 2.. WHy Younis Khan did not allow Umer Gul to finish his 4 Overs and create a situation that can demolish his career as well,''I was reminding a match of Asia and Rest od Woorld, While Abdur Razak was badly stroke by Great Micheal Bevan''

    Dear Younis Sb

    If you can see these comments, Please try to avoid these, Although you have 3 best bowlers of Tournamnet, But these small things can be big.

  • BustIPL on June 20, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    I think it was not taking part in IPl that worked for pakistan and also they were built aroound ICL and IPL. One motivation factor is that India is out of the contention. The 3S phenomenon was already a threat despite not having enough international exposure as spinners take little time to overcome their rustiness. Afridi took the opportunity of making by his performance in the semi and SA was like beating India as their players were also fatigued by recent IPL reality show.Not to mention they were the finalists in the inaugural competetion just loosing on a free hit. One reason for Indian exit was a lot of confusion about the available talent who to play and who not to.

  • pakistanigirl20 on June 20, 2009, 11:26 GMT

    excellent article frm a golden pen of Pakistan. win or lose doesnt matter pakistan remains champion 4 us.

  • charith87 on June 20, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    Yessss... T20 World Cup Remains in Asia

  • faisal_sharafat_ali on June 20, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    thnks for the article, proudly & happily , after reading your article, i can feel like we are the champions now, Its been a roller coaster ride for pakistani team..i remeber the words of imran khan in 1992 WC that we are the cornered tigers..i belive same is the case this time too..Inshallah we will win this trophy for our brothers in SAWAT, MALAKAND & DIR...

    With tears in eyes & hopes nearing mount everest we wish all success to pakistan in ground so that osamn samiuddin can shake us with another of his soul awakening article.

  • Hems17 on June 20, 2009, 11:02 GMT

    Mr Samiuddin, this article captures the spirit of the Pakistan Cricket Team in words and that is a terrific achievement. One of my close ones who has recently started following cricket couldn't believe when i had told her that either Pakistan will get knocked out early or they will go right up to the final. Its the "junoon" that is heartening, they might lose matches and infuriate people about the waste of talent and the squandering of opportunities, but when its their day and they are on a roll, they are unbeatable. There is a undescribable joy in watching a team from whom everybody has few expectations prove the doubters wrong and play a brand of cricket which is uniquely theirs and nobody else's. Those who says Indians hate Pakistanis and vice versa do not take into account thel group of people who respect 'passion' and 'junoon' where they see it. I shall be rooting for Pakistan to take the World Cup not because they are the best team, but because they play with more junoon.

  • rafiqchika on June 20, 2009, 10:52 GMT

    What a wonderful article, Pakistans beauty is its unpredicatability,for those of us that never lose heart they do enough to make us expect again to raise our aspirations and to make us marvel at their achievements. Like a flickering candle, like all of the seasons in a moment, you are never quite sure if summer has a arrived or spring showers are really winter and that autumn delivers beautiful colours of maturity and hope of renewal, Pakistan is poetry, of tragedy, of passion, of love, sometime betrayal, sheer pleasure and pain but always hope for better. They inspire us all, the beauty, the beast but always Pakistan Good Luck for Sunday, you have cheered me you have raised my spirits and you have reflected life itself. RAFIQ CHOHAN Slough. UK.

  • zain.ul.abideen on June 20, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    hmmm...nice article. ur appreciation would have sounded more genuine if u had remained on Paksitan team's side when they were losing, though. Be a proud paki.

  • ANSO on June 20, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Osman, i must say that it is a very well thought and a brilliantly written article. An article which has made us all emotional and proud of what our team has achieved in this world cup. At a time when everyone had written us off; at a time when no one in their wildest of dreams had expected pakistan to even qualify for the semi finals; and at a time when it was desperately needed to bring smiles onto the grim faces of the nation......our team has done the unthinkable. Let us now pray that our team wins the final and brings the trophy home. INSHALLAH!!!!!

  • Imran.Yusuf on June 20, 2009, 9:52 GMT

    Nice article. And like the author says, "the Pakistan team had played a mere 10 Tests and 50 ODIs since the beginning of 2007; no other side was that undercooked". But may be its this hunger for playing more cricket that has resulted in the good performances from the Pakistani team. And like the Indian coach Gary Kirsten said, may be its the overload of cricket that has resulted in the Indian team's early ouster from the T20 World Cup. The dearth of cricket matches for the Pakistan side may well help bring the T20 World Cup this time around!

  • Atif.Farid on June 20, 2009, 9:45 GMT

    I pray for Pakistan's success in T20 final as well. Atif

  • Seasole on June 20, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    Mr Osman...great article, to be honest i strongly feel that the issue of pakistan being sidelined should be highlighted regularly and this article no just did that but also brought the true feelings of every pakistani cricket fan in words. We are hopeful things will change, players have done their part and now PCB should start doing it aswell. Malik Haroon

  • Bouncers_Yorkers on June 20, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    Champions league needs Pakistan's domestic T20 champions. The most important, legitimate and recognized by all over the world ranking for Twenty20 is Bartercard Power Rankings. It is recognized by every country including India (both IPL & ICL), Aus, RSA, NZ, PK and others. It ranks T20 domestic franchise teams from all over the world.

    Who was ranked #1 at the end of 2008? Lahore Badshahs of ICL. However, since ICL cancelled the current season due to terror attacks then Lahore Badshahs were taken out of the rankings in June 2009. However the four years in a row Champion of Pakistan's T20 tournament, Sialkot Stallions, is ranked at #2 in the world. Yes, the same team that ICC refused to allow to play in Champions league is ranked as the second strongest side in the world of domestic T20. What is more impressive is that this is the only team in the top 10 to not have any foreign players. Imagine having Champions league of football, but not allowing Barca or Manchester Utd to play...

  • farazm79 on June 20, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    Yet again a greatly written piece. It moved me greatly and let me feel the pride once again that is being a Pakistani. ART has once again proven to be powerful then the machine. And in my opinion, Machine will never be the future of cricket as it is proven time and again ... the Spirit of the Cricket is in the ART of the Cricket ... !

  • Khan-T20 on June 20, 2009, 8:35 GMT

    In 1992 world cup win of Pakistan, legend batsman Sunil Gavaskar commented as that "The World Cup came to Asia" and now the T20 World Cup also remains in Asia whoever win the Final.

  • TheHooker on June 20, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Superb article and I hope Pakistanis realise the support they have as cricketers and as a nation from every decent Englishman. I have been saying all along there is a magnificent team, not just individuals, waiting to come out and boy, how it has come out. Afridii is simply magical, possibly the most threatening spinner in the world when he has his cricket head on. Misbah looks as though he's ready to take this tournament by storm and the sheer variety of the bowling attack is frightening. No team is better to watch than Pakistan and I desperately hope they win this tournament. It's a crying shame what is happening in your country ans as you say, this will not ease domestic tensions. But if ever a people deserve something positive to happen it is Pakistan. Good luck!

  • Khan-T20 on June 20, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    A great article by Osman Samiuddin. Pakistan really needed this win to answer some forces, those are trying to isolate Pakistan from international cricket. Pakistan reached in to the final of T20 world cup for the 2nd time since its inaugral in 2007. Pakistani players were the among the best players of these two tounaments. In first IPL some of the Pakistani players were among the best players of the tournament. In the ICL, Pakistani team (Lahore Badshah) was the winner of tournament. Inspite of all these, i dont know why Pakistan's T20 league champion is not invited to the Champions League Tournament. Naeem

  • imtiz_ahmed on June 20, 2009, 7:51 GMT

    Osman Samiuddin, i read that article of yours about cricket being science and arts and Pakistan being "past" and S.A being "future", and you being so damn sure that SA will beat Pakistan and all that.

    Now all of sudden you are on Pakistan side hehehe.

  • mazfars on June 20, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    Mr Osman u have made me feel prouder....i now dont really care whether or not Pakistan wins this time around coz they have already done their job....they have made us proud and happy. From how they started and how they are going to end this event.....i wanted nothing more from them. Even then i would pray my heart out for our teams victory so that these smiles and this time of joy and laughter stays in our heart forever INSHALLAH. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!!!!

  • Yasser_Effendi on June 20, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    Great article Osman Samiuddin - You have rightly written "It is a complex soul, built on tigerish defiance, outlandish talent and bravado but also drama, tragedy and farce all at once." Just hope the outlandish talent, tigerish defiance and bravado can take us through one more match and we see Younis lifting the cup on Sunday. Good Luck Team Pakistan !!!!!

  • tbaig on June 20, 2009, 7:34 GMT

    An excellent piece of writing....An emotional article for many pakistani's who know what the team and the nation has been going through lately. It is amazing to see how a bunch of 11 people can bring so much joy to millions of suffering people and make them forget about their miseries for few hours. You have captured this whole situation in an amazing way in your article. You are right about Afridi's catch, it triggered a chain reaction to wake up the sleeping giants. kudos for such a nice article.

  • Nabeell on June 20, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    Pakistan should DEDICATE the FINAL of T20 to the people of SWAT, who have lost their homes and loved ones!!!

    Please lets put a smile on their face....... we need to win just a single match to bring a smile on their face

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World ... the end

    Tomorrow the country will stand still, Pakistanis around the world will be stuck to their TV screens; when the 11 men in green step on the field; they will be carrying the hopes and dreams of 160 million people in Pakistan and millions of fans around the world. they are expected to perform and perform they will.

    Ash is a live help guide at MaybeNow.com and loves cricket.

  • kr_kinshuk on June 20, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    at the risk of upsetting a lot of ppl's dreams of a pak resurgence..... i would like to remind them tht winning 2 games against decent teams nd possibly a third one to pick up the world cup isn't really tht gr8 a performance..... i've never seen an easier ride to a wc fina for ny side...... the reality is tht pak's team is still in the doldrums.... nybody who's in doubt should check out their performances against india, south africa, england in this tournament....

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:23 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World Part 5..

    The word "Khan" is the correlation factor between 1992 and tomorrow. In 1992 Imran Khan lead his team to the highest title of cricket and tomorrow another Khan is hoping for the same. in 1992 there was a young guy name Inzamam-ul-Haq and tomorrow there is young lad name Mohammad Aamer. It has taken 17 years for Pakistan to be standing one win away from the highest title in 20/20 cricket.

    Pakistan has defied all odds, imagine what they can do if; PCB runs more efficient, more science and math is used for training and planning game plans, Imagine if the players were treated with some respect before, during and after their departures from the national scene; Just Imagine what Pakistan Cricket would be if all stakeholders had the best interest of Pakistan at heart.

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:21 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World Part 4

    I think the chain reaction thought process makes sense, Afridi's catch started the dream streak but Umar Gul's dominance started with "Tall, sharp and uncomplicated" profile by Osman Samiuddin on June 13. imagine lifting the hopes and dreams of the entire nation with 24 balls packed with Yorkers. Imagine no limelight for the wrong reason, imagine being on the forefront of Pakistan's bowling attack yet still have nothing but ultimate character keeping your head high and strong.

    Umar Gul's name is now being said in the same breath as Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram; there is no doubt he is a legend in making and Pakistan cricket can use as many legends as possible and the world cannot ignore the raw talent Pakistan produces. Gul is to Pakistan cricket as Michael Jordan was to Chicago Bulls, Cobby Bryant is to LA Lakers and Tiger Wood is to Golf; its just matter of time before the world actually sees it.

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World part 3

    "Younis perplexed at shoddy Pakistan display"

    "Pakistan is not going anywhere"

    "Boom Boom Afridi sucks; should be Doom, Doom Afridi"

    " In this form it is better to take it easy and have fun. It is like WWF.

    "Gul the hottest brand in 20/20 bowling"

    "Men with je ne sais quoi"

    There were lots of quotes about Pakistan team but as the time went by the thought process changed from negatives to neutral to out right positive. Now regardless of the pundits and the odds; some don't want Pakistan to win and others already brought the title to Pakistan. In life regardless of the mistakes; gain momentum and even you critics will be on your side and this is exactly what is happening.

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World part 2...........

    It doesn't matter how Afridi performs in any game; the expectations always reach the Outer Limits. Another player can hit a four, a six and a four in a row but when it's done by Afridi; it seems more exciting, gets that sweet pain in your stomach to float in air more. Afridi brings excitement and hope. Even when Pakistan is on the verge of losing, if Afridi is still there or yet to come; the country expects a miracle. No chase or run rate is out of his reach or at least that is what every Pakistani fan expects and history has shown on his day nothing matters; the pitch, ball condition, great deliveries and the logic all go out of the window. Afridi is to Pakistan cricket as Usain Bolt is to 100 meter race with only difference being; Afridi has been around for more than 9.6… seconds. It does not matter what happened tomorrow, In reality every fan has already gained more than expected in dreams and hope has no limits.

  • Taxalian98 on June 20, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    Celebration time Pakistan.... Here we go.... Its an eye opening performence for Icc and especially for Bcci who were dectating terms so as to corner pakistan... InshALLAh pakistan would emerge champions this time.... DIL DIL PAKISTAN

  • malik_ on June 20, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    Great read!

    I tuned back in (watching) cricket after two and great to see what Pakistan has achieved. Their failure and success at this very moment is more than just a win or a loss. It shows their struggle, not just as cricketers but also as citizens of Pakistan. They truly have shown how we as a nation can and will put our best - with support of the others.

    (Dhitik thanks for a positive comments, was glad to see such a note after ready all the hateful messages the people of two countries exchange on the internet)

    Good luck Pakistan!

  • Zaheerahmed on June 20, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    The cricket team is just a reflection of the tenacity and the ability to bounce back from adversity of the nation. Osman has just used the right words to describe that. But one wonders if a method is chosen to make the most of this madness then they can reach newer heights. No one can also rule out the role played by Lalit Modi in his successful attempts to keep Pakistani cricketers away from farce matches of IPL and as a result they were keener and hungrier when they landed in UK.

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World

    There is a show called Heroes and they must save the cheerleader to save the world. There was famous news story of a mother lifting a car all by herself to get her baby from under it. There was a man who the world wrote off as a madman yet he become one of the most powerful legends in America. All of the above and many other unexplained trumps are exactly what this world is about and just one simple move some times sets a chain reaction that changes everything around. In Pakistan cricket is not only a sport but a lovely means to escape the realities. It's a way to make your mark and no other country has produced or wasted more young talent than Pakistan.

  • Khanforever on June 20, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    The past two years has been full of sorrows for pakistan as a nation, the country has been at war people are displaced from their homes, havent heard a single good news from pakistan untill these brave 11 pakistanis has given us some moments of joy which was really needed to spark that light of love we all have for our country and i really think this will go long way,, MAY ALLAH BLESS OUR COUNTRY WITH PEACE.

  • Bilal_S on June 20, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    You're getting too dramatic Mr. Samiuddin. I'd prefer if it were toned down a notch... and people get immense pleasure out of astrophysics.

  • cricket_addict on June 20, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    Osman Thank you for an email that sums up my emotions to the dot.. and is beautiful enough to literally move me to tears... this team has given us enough heartache and joy to last us for a lifetime... and no matter how many I times I swear to forsake them after a particularly embarassing loss.. I cannot shun their flair... here's hoping for another memorable World Cup victory...

  • Imran.Afzal on June 20, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    These words summed up the whole article superbly.

    By reaching the final of the premier World Twenty20 event twice, Pakistan has said to one and all that they are still a force, no matter what the strife, that they cannot be ignored or sidelined in this world. Men such as Afridi, Gul, Akmal and Ajmal cannot be ignored in this world. They can contribute richly to it.

    Good Luck Pakistan.

  • wanderer1 on June 20, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    Sun Tzu once wrote, "Never press a desperate enemy." A desperate enemy has nothing to lose and with his back to the wall will fight to the death. Pakistan more so than most nations embodies this idea.

  • cricket_all_the_way on June 20, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Masterpiece article written by you Osman. You just missed one point, during the game when the DJ kept playing Dil Dil Pakistan, it made the entire Pakistan, Notthingam, Canada, US, UK, Australia, Dubai (wherever the Pakistanis are) go crazy!!!...People were/are so happy...we celebrated all night dancing cheering for Pakistan..This moment of happiness will never be forgotten...Pakistan really needed it and I am sure we will win the World Cup!

  • Dhitik on June 20, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    a nice article, am an Indian, but i do follow Pak cricket closely, and did not think earlier that they would be making this far, but pak team is raising the bar/intensity at the right time............one thing is for sure.......world cup stays in asia ;)

    hoping for a cracker of a contest on sunday

  • aceruser on June 20, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    Very well scripted ... indeed it is the time to celebrate the way our team outplayed SA is worth appreciating....WE NEEDED THIS PERFORMANCE BADLY AS A NATION...WHOLE WORLD SHOULD NOT FORGET WHO WE ARE AND WE ARE CAPABLE OF...PAKISTAN IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF INTERNATIONAL CRICKET!! ICC , BCCI cant just ignore - they just cant...

  • arfatmirza on June 20, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Osman Samiuddin, this is a great article.You had me at this, "Men such as Afridi, Gul, Akmal and Ajmal cannot be ignored in this world." I wish Pakistan all the luck in the world for the final.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • arfatmirza on June 20, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Osman Samiuddin, this is a great article.You had me at this, "Men such as Afridi, Gul, Akmal and Ajmal cannot be ignored in this world." I wish Pakistan all the luck in the world for the final.

  • aceruser on June 20, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    Very well scripted ... indeed it is the time to celebrate the way our team outplayed SA is worth appreciating....WE NEEDED THIS PERFORMANCE BADLY AS A NATION...WHOLE WORLD SHOULD NOT FORGET WHO WE ARE AND WE ARE CAPABLE OF...PAKISTAN IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF INTERNATIONAL CRICKET!! ICC , BCCI cant just ignore - they just cant...

  • Dhitik on June 20, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    a nice article, am an Indian, but i do follow Pak cricket closely, and did not think earlier that they would be making this far, but pak team is raising the bar/intensity at the right time............one thing is for sure.......world cup stays in asia ;)

    hoping for a cracker of a contest on sunday

  • cricket_all_the_way on June 20, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Masterpiece article written by you Osman. You just missed one point, during the game when the DJ kept playing Dil Dil Pakistan, it made the entire Pakistan, Notthingam, Canada, US, UK, Australia, Dubai (wherever the Pakistanis are) go crazy!!!...People were/are so happy...we celebrated all night dancing cheering for Pakistan..This moment of happiness will never be forgotten...Pakistan really needed it and I am sure we will win the World Cup!

  • wanderer1 on June 20, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    Sun Tzu once wrote, "Never press a desperate enemy." A desperate enemy has nothing to lose and with his back to the wall will fight to the death. Pakistan more so than most nations embodies this idea.

  • Imran.Afzal on June 20, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    These words summed up the whole article superbly.

    By reaching the final of the premier World Twenty20 event twice, Pakistan has said to one and all that they are still a force, no matter what the strife, that they cannot be ignored or sidelined in this world. Men such as Afridi, Gul, Akmal and Ajmal cannot be ignored in this world. They can contribute richly to it.

    Good Luck Pakistan.

  • cricket_addict on June 20, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    Osman Thank you for an email that sums up my emotions to the dot.. and is beautiful enough to literally move me to tears... this team has given us enough heartache and joy to last us for a lifetime... and no matter how many I times I swear to forsake them after a particularly embarassing loss.. I cannot shun their flair... here's hoping for another memorable World Cup victory...

  • Bilal_S on June 20, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    You're getting too dramatic Mr. Samiuddin. I'd prefer if it were toned down a notch... and people get immense pleasure out of astrophysics.

  • Khanforever on June 20, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    The past two years has been full of sorrows for pakistan as a nation, the country has been at war people are displaced from their homes, havent heard a single good news from pakistan untill these brave 11 pakistanis has given us some moments of joy which was really needed to spark that light of love we all have for our country and i really think this will go long way,, MAY ALLAH BLESS OUR COUNTRY WITH PEACE.

  • AshiMitha on June 20, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Save the Cheerleader Save the World

    There is a show called Heroes and they must save the cheerleader to save the world. There was famous news story of a mother lifting a car all by herself to get her baby from under it. There was a man who the world wrote off as a madman yet he become one of the most powerful legends in America. All of the above and many other unexplained trumps are exactly what this world is about and just one simple move some times sets a chain reaction that changes everything around. In Pakistan cricket is not only a sport but a lovely means to escape the realities. It's a way to make your mark and no other country has produced or wasted more young talent than Pakistan.