Pakistan’s moment of triumph, and a question for the world

June 22, 2009

Pakistan’s success in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup must rank as one of sports’ more timely victories. For a state that is supposed to be at war with itself, failing and in danger of fragmentation there cannot be a sweeter way to hit back.

Younus Khan who led his unfancied team comes from the North West Frontier Province, as does Shahid Afridi whose explosive batting took Pakistan to an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka, another nation wracked by decades of civil war, but coming out of it.

The NWFP is the frontline of the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda that has so blighted the nation, left it divided, bleeding and saddled with a huge refugee problem. Indeed Khan said the World Cup was a gift to the people of Pakistan.

Cricinfo compared Pakistan’s success to a newly-reunified South Africa’s victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, saying there had not been a more timely win since then.

Younus also said  cricketing nations must resume playing in his troubled, but cricket-mad nation.

“Everybody must come to Pakistan. We need a home test series. How can we attract the youngsters? Players muct come to Pakistan.”

Is the world ready to reconsider? Will India, no stranger to militancy itself, soften up? The 50-over World Cup scheduled for 2011 has been taken away from Pakistan, and is to be played now in only India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The ICC Champions Trophy that it was scheduled to host last year was shifted out, and Australia, New Zealand and England have refused to play there.

Indeed Pakistan’s cricket authorities have challenged the decision to drop them from the host nations of the 2011 World Cup and  it has renewed a call to its co-Asian hosts to support its bid to hold the tournament.

Standing up for cricket in Pakistan may also be  a way to challenge the forces of darkness that is the Taliban, argues Tunku Varadarajan in a piece for Forbes. The victory was a monumental boost to a nation drained of all morale.

And cricket, he says “offers an alternative vision of civilization with which Pakistanis can contrast the viciously bleak program of the Taliban.”


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Pakistan should promote 20 twenty cricket with Taliban, Al Quaeda, Lashkar E Taiba. The format can also be named as Pakistan Cricket Terrorist Reform League. PACRITREL… Once love of cricket spreads with these groups, the problems will disappear. What a view it would be one team owned by Osama, One by Mullah Omar, One by Bhai Mehsood and all fighting for the 20 Twenty cup PACRITREL CUP. I have even thought names for teams… Al Quaeda Nukes, Taliban Stingers, Lashkar 47. Top prize for winning team can be nuclear bomb.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

Its is true to connect the political situation and problem of Pakistan with the win at t20 victory. But on the sport platform i compare the victory some how written on the same script of first t20world cup where India won. and it proves that supremacy on shortest form of cricket will likely to remain with south Asia continent. As both finalist each time are Asian. And a major concern to Team like England and Australia to think where they are getting wrong in this format of game.

Apart of this i think This win also brings lots of cheer not only on the face cricket lover but also gives a reason for Pakistani Citizen in a manner of state proud.

Posted by Amit Daga | Report as abusive

i read in bbc that younis wants other nations to tour pakistan. he says the terrorism is not their fault. I believe he means cricketers. how does he have guts to ask others to risk their life in order to make younis and other pakisthanis happy ? seriously i feel pakistanis live in a deluded world.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

Timely, yes. interesting

Posted by Ashley Riddle | Report as abusive

Mr. Rohit

Please don’t be so bitter, we are sure India will fare better next time :)

Posted by Yassar Khattak | Report as abusive

Mr Khattak

Whosoever wins a game, fairly, deserves to be congratulated and congratulations to Pakistan.

I’m not bitter but the concept of going to Pakistan and playing cricket in Pakistan is a ridiculous idea and requires to be rebutted in as extreme manner as possible.

On personal opinion, I would like that India never takes part in any event in Pakistan nor should India invite Pakistan to it’s soil. Indians should also boycott any cricket that involves Pakistan coming to India or India going to Pakistan.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

Come on people, is this what weve come to?? I am going to speak to the protests in Iran… Maybe we all should start protesting for UNITY? As i watch, that seems to be what they started protesting for in the first place, but has now gotten out of hand. Women everywhere need to be strong! We are not weak! We can bear children for crymany sakes! I dont know about the rest of you, but I sure as hell dont want my children growing up in the kind of environment of cayos, fighting and termoil weve created for them! Enough is Enough!!!!

Posted by E | Report as abusive

It was indeed a timely Victory for Pakistan. It has lifted the morale of entire nation. A very good sign.At one end Army has up rooted the menace of Talibanization in Swat and FATA , state increasingly becoming a nation state, showing unity and coherence. Pakistan has achieved so much of Her troubles and unrest and the foremost is to get a capability to defend and fight back. Its a nation which has completely transformed herself. Thanks to bitter realities. Players who have performed exceedingly well in T 20 were Pathans and belong to NWFP, which world call the paradise of terrorism, how wrong they have proved the entire notion. Pakistan and India cannot change their neighbors, lets get out of old British trick “Divide and Rule” and help each other raise the standard of living of Billions. Lets have peace. If India has serious reservations of peace notion from Pakistan, same is the case in Pakistan as well for many many reasons. Lets for get and for give. Lets be friendly cricketing neighbors.May Allah help us all. Long Live India, Long Live Pakistan , long live cricket. I dedicate my part of joy of becoming the world champion to my neighbor Indian friend.

Posted by Muhammad Nasir | Report as abusive

“I know it aches many Indian hearts but it (Pakistan Win in T20 Carnival) is an undeniable fact. And seriously, it could not have met a better end…” (NDTV)
Afridi: The all rounder was a transformed player, batting with responsibility, bowling with gusto and fielding, as always, with tigerish presence, mouthing profanities at batsmen all the way. Simply brilliant!!! Dhoni and Disaster: India’s campaign in the T20 World Cup was nothing short of disaster. Dhoni goofed up tactically… They were the most hyped team… (Times of India)
when Indians have nothing to do: they do pakistan bashing…(Me)

Posted by Fayaz | Report as abusive

congratulation!!!!!!! this is the best way to speak the world. i’ m dying to watch indo-pak crieee,but the thing is somepeople don’t want peace & fairness between us.
onceagain congrats, u truly deserved to be victorious, u needed more than anyone in the world. wish u all the very best for the future serious too.

Posted by saurav | Report as abusive

The bitterness being displayed by Indians at Pakistan being T20 World Champions makes the victory all the more sweeter!

Posted by Aamir Ali | Report as abusive

Be quick, Zardari/Gilani/Kayani/Pasha are so happy that they must be willing to handover the Nuke control.

I was expecting that Lahore attack against SL team will have “Andrew Flintoff-pisses-off-Yuvraj-to-hit-6-sixe s” effect, but it did not.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Entire nation was emotionally involved, common people, player’s families everyone was praying for Pakistan’s victory. It looked as if solution of Pakistan’s problems at home were depending on our team’s shoulders. You have to be a Pakistani to experience what this victory meant for us. It looked as if we lost, we are going to loose everyhting. The victory boosted morale immensely, from Sindh, karachi to Lahore and the capital Islamabad every city erupted in celebrations. It also lifted the morale of expat Pakistanis, and as it was said , “Cornered tigers roar again”. Pakistan came back from behind and fought back like cornered tigers just like in the ’92 WC. The player’s body language during the final was evident, it was more than a game of cricket.

A few months back, I had quoted this to one of Indian bloggers on this forum. That Pakistan will fight back against all odds, that Pakistan will fight back like cornered tigers as its cricket. I have no doubt now, this victory shows the potential of Pakistani nation. We are emotional, we are passionate and when we set out to achieve something, we give it everything. The most dire circumstances bring out the best in us.

Lastly, the only ones who were left weeping, were those who attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. Those who wanted cricket to be finished in Pakistan, this was a slap on their face.
There is more to come, the Champions trophy and World Cup. Maybe cricket can bind us, if at this stage India supports cricket in Pakistan that would be a great gesture.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Congrats to Pakistan for winning the T20 WC but unfortunately that doesn’t change the ground reality for Pakistan. For how long will this feel-good factor last?
A day? 3 days? a week? 2 weeks?….What after that?

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Dont be sore losers just because you lost in the second round doesn’t mean you should bother Pakistan because we’re your neighbours. We snatched the cup from India fairly we deserved it previously and we did it this time. cheerrrrrrrrrrrrrrs

Posted by adeel ahsan | Report as abusive

INDIANS appear to be quite sour over the victory of Pakistan. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Posted by Asmat Jamal | Report as abusive

First congratulation Pakistan cricket players……. playing well get world T20 cup………

Posted by nagarjuna | Report as abusive

@Aamir Ali:

Congrats to Pakistani team for the cup! They deserved it. SL or Pak, the cup stays in Asia.

@Indian bitterness: Been there, done that, who knows better than Pakistan team. last cup final and this year warm up match.

@Rohit: I liked Rohit’s humor.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

For All Cricket lovers in world: I being a pakistani apperciate the achievement of Pakistan cricket team and now i am telling all other fans specially in india that cricket is a game its not war take it in positive sence and enjoy it, if You dont want to play with us ok this is your right, we also not so excited to welcome you. but accept the presence of others in cricketing world expand your mind, thoughts and approach

Posted by Ali Raza | Report as abusive

To my Pakistani friends:
First of all congratulations to everyone. It was a badly needed victory and the team did it for us.

About Indian bitterness:
There are many, I repeat, many Indian cricket fans who have congratulated Pakistan and its team with real sportsmen spirit. Focus on them and ignore people like Rohit because he does not represent most if Indian cricket fans.
Just understand there are more than 1-billion people in India and there will be no shortage of low-lives like Rohit. Just ignore him: if u argue with him then he will take you to his level of bitterness and then beat you with experience… LOL

It is true that ground realities in Pakistan are not suitable for any foreign team to visit Pakistan. Lets hope that its gets better soon. That will be another slap on Rohit and likes.

Posted by Imran | Report as abusive

@ Imran

I do not bother about others. Every Indian has freedom unlike in your case. Any Indian who understands what is terrorism would support that India does not maintain any relationship with Pakistan. And if India does not maintain relationship with Pakistan then the only sufferers would be paki sympathizer muslims residing in India.

Some things are forced on both the countries by US and both countries kneel and cower to the pressure. Like Zardari Manmohan talks… No full scale war post start of events in Kargill… Pakistan’s forced attack on Taliban etc with motivation, money and defense backing by American forces.

Imran, Mullah Omar/ Osama etc would have wiped out your country (Pakistan) if America was not there to support, motivate and force useless, good for nothing Gilani, Zardari, Kiyani and company to fight. You should in fact, thank White House 24 times a day, 365 days a year and thank America for delaying the catapult of your country (Pakistan) and giving fresh (and I hope small) lease of life for time being.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

your right Imran, India is not only a very populated nation but also diverse in every aspect. hence, you will also see various opinions on every issue.

for eg i am also rohit and dont quite share the views of my fellow indian. However, Since the question is on whether international cricket should resume in Pakistan or not, as you have also said, pakistan is not ready for it now. Coz, cricketers can only ensure that a cup comes to pakistan, there are other who have to work in getting a tournament back to the nation.

lastly the way india is progressing economically, we cant afford an instable neighbor hence we only hope that the time comes soon when injternational cricket comes back to pakistan

Posted by Rohit S | Report as abusive

I used to consider Shahid Afridi as a hopeless batsman. but the way he played in the finals shocked me. I had never seen him batting so sensibly. Good job Pakistani team. Congratulations :).
Being an Indian i support what Imran just said. I hope majority of Pakistani people also think like you Imran :).

Posted by Ashish | Report as abusive

I’m ran is grammatically wrong it should be I’m running

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive