What’s in Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja?
No seriously, what’s so special these two Pakistani commentators that allows them to remain untainted from India’s recent efforts to humiliate every Pakistani on every political front?
To start with, there was, and still is, the brouhaha over Pakistan’s participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The extension of T20 franchise system on a global level, in the form of Champions Trophy, was next. Last competition was the first time a Pakistani franchise ‘Sialkot Stallions’ was allowed to participate, and even that through a qualifier system which was wretchedly unfair.
There has been serious political protests and concerns over Pakistan’s cricket team visiting India, and it was only affected after considerable political humiliation of Pakistan.
For the Women’s World Cup, the women cricket team of Pakistan was relocated from Mumbai to Cuttack, after threats to the team. Moreover, they faced the humiliation not being allowed accomodation in hotels. The team was confined to the stadiums, which was utter humiliation in a global tournament.
To add more to the atrocities against our visiting teams in India, our blind cricket team captain was poisoned, after Pakistan had beat India in a group fixture.
And finally, India released all Pakistani hockey players that it had invited for the Hockey India League (HIL), after serious political protests and pressure.
Hence my question: What’s in Wasim and Ramiz? I have observed their commentary and how cosy they have become with Indian sports broadcasters. All of Pakistan have witnessed their incessant sucking up to other Indian commentators on the panel, the Indian cricket team and the Indian cricket board. One also wonders why these two are well accepted in Indian media circles when everything else associated with Pakistan is shunned by the Indian auathorities.
Ofcourse the cricketing community knows their commentary skills are mediocre at best. If it’s excellence in commentary they seek, they need not look farther than Waqar Younis, a genuinely good spokesman in every aspect. Are they accepted only because of their tendency to be dominated by Indian contemporaries in the media box? Are Wasim and Ramiz much needed up-shots to the Indian ego? Does their presence in the midst of Indian celebration of its nation’s greatness makes the celebration that much sweeter?
So why Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja? And why have these two not made any effort to uphold some semblance of pride in their own nation’s position and its treatment at the hands of the Indian authorities? Sunil Gavaskar for instance, publicly communicated his displeasure at revival of Indo-Pak cricket ties when the perpetrators of Mumbai attack were still unpunished then. Surely there must come a time when an individual takes a stand? Unfortunately, for Wasim and Ramiz, The question is not ‘when‘, the question is ‘will it ever?‘
I have reproduced what I had written back then when we won the World Cup in 2009 …. oh what a magical night it was. It was what pure happiness could mean. It was all that happiness could give. Let’s hope we see something like that again ? : ) Let’s hope we get a chance to be so naive about hope and patriotism as I was, when I wrote this : )
A Khan brought the trophy home again. Infact Younus Khan, Umar Gul and Shahid Khan Afridi carried the fortunes of the team. This country’s fortunes are sewn with Pathans; would somebody please stop driving them away ??
It’s ironic that the ethnic group most tormented by our Government has brought this nation the most happiness. The country is bathed in ecstasy; I myself have been delirious since the winning leg-bye was scored. Cricket means to me more than anything. I say this without drama, that nothing moves me as much as cricket does.
It’s a sport that stretches beyond the realms of a mere sporting victory. This victory has given this nation renewed hope. This victory has perhaps woken us all from the deep slumber we’ve bin entrenched in and instilled in us a reinforced pride and passion for our country. Suddenly you see people being outrageously patriotic and happy for living in Pakistan.
The night of the World Cup Final will forever be etched in my mind. I was part of the wild celebrations that went on and on throughout the night and I will never forget the ecstatic face of the nation. I had personally never seen such a huge crowd gathered in one place for any reason other than political affiliations. But on that night, there were hundreds of Pakistani flags on the head of bikers, on the windscreen of cars, hung across streets, hung across the backs of guys and painted on the faces. Admittedly, there were some political flags seen too and while some idiots still continue to value that flag more than the national flag, the masses were there for Pakistan.
I can’t remember myself ever being so happy and content; why wouldn’t you be? How often do you hear nationalist slogans across Karachi? You don’t. But on THAT fateful night, as I hung outside from a friend’s car’s window, on every Pakistani’s face was a brutal expression of joy and freedom – the slogans of JEEVAY JEEVAY PAKISTAN echoed through the night! People had gone absolutely crazy. They would stop at every signal, get off from their bikes and cars and dance wildly and then move on to the next stop.
It was like every bike and car was heading for pilgrimage, in this case being SeaView! Those were just unbelievable scenes where every car was being stopped at SeaView McDonalds and people would dance and sing and clap; they’d ask the car inhabitants to come out and celebrate too. Some of them were game, but we encountered a fair number of spoilsports too! You moved on ahead and you saw roads completely blocked by people. I can safely say there were at least 15000 people there that night. Container trucks were stopped, guys were dancing on top of the containers, on the bumpers, and all the time accompanied by the rhythmic clapping on JEEVAY JEEVAY PAKISTAN.
It was a time when the public dared kid around with the Police and Rangers. The ecstasy was just infectious, intoxicating. You couldn’t help but be absorbed in it. It was a night you could do just about anything and get away with it. You could shout yourself hoarse on streets at 3pm in the night, you could hug policemen, you could talk to girls you have seen for the first time in front of their families without any ramifications! That’s how infectious this WorldCup victory was.
I traveled all over Karachi hanging out of the car, shouting slogans at every bike and car we passed with the omnipresence of the victory sign. Infact that is the way everyone was that day. Nobody knows how many years it’ll take for a moment like this to come again where the streets would be flooded with Pakistanis and not Muhajirs or Sindhis or Pathans.
All I can say is that whoever stayed in their homes that night deprived themselves of a phenomenon, unwittingly alienated themselves from the mercurial nation that Pakistan is and perhaps slept through the happiest night in Pakistan in years.
Now you better Stand Up for The Champions !