“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!