Twenty20 Cricket Final and a reckless statement

“First of all I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world.”

That’s what the young Pakistani cricket team captain; Shoaib Malik had to say after he accepted the medal for the losing side. That was a reckless statement to conclude a final-worthy, nail-biting finale between the two cricketing titans – India and Pakistan.

By saying that, he unnecessarily brought religion into the game and upset not only the Muslims in India, but also the non-Muslim supporters Pakistan has. I’m quite sure it was a sub-conscious mistake on his behalf but it was extremely distasteful nonetheless. I hope he follows through soon with an explanation, if not an apology.

The World Cup Twenty20 final itself was amazing and it was good to see cricket being played in its full spirit and form by both the sides. Pakistan was successful in limiting India to 156 runs and it seemed that we were finally going to break the long-lasting curse (Pakistan has never beaten India in any World Cup match – ever). Pakistan started off reasonably well but soon started losing wickets and if it weren’t for Misbah’s commendable fight in the end; we would have lost with a lot more than only 5 runs.

It was good to see both teams performing so well even without the ‘super-stars’. Both Dhoni and Shoaib Malik displayed a lot of potential as sensible captains. They consistently made good choices during the match and showed immense faith in the younger players. This match is aptly being hailed as a victory of youth.

On a side note; I’d like to add that I believe Twenty20 is the future of cricket. Test cricket seems like a useless waste of time and even One Day Internationals seem too prolonged. Any sporting event should not last longer than 2-3 hours im my opinion. I’ve had enough of “Test cricket is the real cricket”. What’s the point if you can’t watch a match ball to ball? Anybody who manages to watch Test cricket ball to ball needs to find a job!


7 Responses to “Twenty20 Cricket Final and a reckless statement”

  1. 1 GreY September 26, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    I thought he said Muslim League , anyways not a big a deal ! Thanking God is a good thing , but i think he us weak in English a lot nervous to face the mike than the ball , Just leave it be in the name of Cricket !

  2. 2 Sabah Hussain September 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    GreY: You’re right in saying that it was his nervousness that probably caused it. I said nothing against thanking God, but segregating your thanks to Muslims alone does not seem to be the right spirit and IMO, he needs to acknowledge this mistake (even if it wasn’t intentional).

  3. 3 Rohini September 27, 2007 at 6:00 am

    Well written blog.
    I am an Indian. I totally agree with you. How can Shoaib forget two members from Indian team were muslim and they obviously prayed for India

  4. 4 umair azfar October 1, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Why do we need to bring in religion all the time? what is the relevance? saying something like,

    “We thank the indian team for giving us a good fight and making the match as every bit interesting as everyone intended it to be and we hope on having such interesting matches with our neighbours in the future as well .I thank all the fans around the world who have supported us throughout the tournament.”

    take a paper out with you with things like this written on it. it does not look pretty, but at least it shows that you care enough for everyone and not make a fool out of yourself.

  5. 5 Idetrorce December 15, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  6. 6 rashid January 18, 2008 at 3:02 am

    a bit late for commenting.I live in seweden and I am from Bangladesh. I have friends from Pakistan here and also from India. I am a muslim and very fond of cricket. Bangladesh was part of British India and Pakistan before.Only we have experience of saying that ‘we were indians, pakistani and now we are Bangladeshi.’

    Well it’s not shoaib who has mistaken…it has long story way back to the history. It’s pakistani leaders who failed to understand that everything should not be mixed up with religion. You as a player not representing as muslim in the field but as a cricketer of your country of Pakistan. I watched a documentary yesterday in swedish television channel 1, about the partition of India in 1947. I found, partition was never happened for the interest of muslim people, it was only because of the leaders who could not agree and divide the country and later Pakistan failed to keep the faith of east pakistani Muslims who thought we are Muslims and we are brothers.Well Pakistan is still struggling to create a democratic environment because of their leaders who are actually still using religion as a tool. They should give up this and people like Shoaib also needs to understand this as he is one of the representatives of his country at the international level.

    My friends in Sweden sometimes afraid of new partition of the country named Pakistan. Pakistanis should think of the sufferings of the people if it happens again. How many people died in 47, in 71. Do you want a new partition? if not please don’t use religion for getting sympathy and justify your failure to perform.

  7. 7 Sabah Hussain January 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    rashid: What Shoaib did was wrong, let us not relate this to irrelevant events in history. Worse still, let us not imply that it was due to some national trait.

    Religion/patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. You would be quite naive to assume that Bangladesh (or any other country, for that matter), is not manipulated by such people.

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