WEB DESK: For us the Pakistanis this weekend was certainly a clean break from the dreary, gloomy past. It brought us the much-awaited change from the dismal times when political idiom had become increasingly filthier and rains took a heavy toll of life.
On Sunday, as boxer Mohammad Waseem clinched the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight title the country’s cricket eleven scored a stunning victory over the England at the Lord’s. Waseem is now placed at fourth position in world professional rankings. But what Misbah, Amir and Yasir did on ground, which is considered most sacred sports arena of world cricket, is simply a high octane page-tuner for sports in Pakistan. It is here where skipper Misbah-ul-Haq becomes the cricket’s oldest century-maker in 82 years with his first-innings 114 in his maiden Lord’s Test.
It was one of the top wins for a captain and for Pakistan as a team. After the scandal of spot-fixing in 2010 the victory at the Lord’s is indeed a “remarkable turnaround … to win here speaks volumes,” says Misbah. But what constituted victory for Pakistan was the maiden 10-wicket haul for 141 by Yasir Shah, no mean achievement for someone who had not played a Test outside of Asia, and also be declared ‘Man of the Match’. And then this victory cannot be talked about without talking about Mohammad Amir – as they say it felt like ‘partial redemption of him after 5-year ban and jail’. Then he was only 17, but, his captain says he is a good kid now and “everybody wants Muhammad Amir to play, especially the crowd”.
How much cheer a sports victory brings in we saw this past Sunday. Among those who savoured this victory at the Lord’s is Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. He called Misbah-ul-Haq on phone and congratulated him over the “historic win”. There were times when we had more such wins. Hockey and squash were two other sports through which our players brought home laurels.
But no more; our favourite is politics and how we play it look up in the north and see what is happening in Azad Kashmir. Is there any sign from the heated campaigning for July 21 assembly election that the local leadership and their ‘masters’ are in any way concerned about the incessant brutalization of Kashmiris on the other side of the Line of Control. Rightly then while the kind of electioneering in Azad Kashmir spawns despondency and hopelessness the victory at the Lord’s triggered celebrations and jubilation across the country.
We don’t know how many people are elated (or not) at the official claim that inflation has declined, but we do know that victories scored by Muhammad Waseem and Misbah’s boys have pleased many a heart in Pakistan. Let us learn to quantify the pleasure that sports victories generate, and factor it into measuring quality of governance. Unfortunately, we don’t see much in terms of encouraging and patronising sports and athletics and one would also hate to talk about our ‘participation’ in the upcoming World Olympics.
Source: Business Recorder