India Insight

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

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.

from Left field:

India caught short by England in Twenty20 World Cup

India's Yusuf Pathan gets ready for the final over of the match against England in the ICC World Twenty20 cricket super eight match in London

In the end, few would have missed the irony. England, their feeble limited overs credentials torn apart after their opening defeat against Netherlands, knocking out holders India from the World Twenty20 with a brilliant execution of strategy.

India were pipped by three runs as England handed them their second defeat in the Super Eights on Sunday, eliminating them from the race for a semi-final berth.

West Indies, another team usually on the receiving end for their inconsistency, had caught the top order batsmen napping with short-pitched bowling to defeat India in their opening Super Eights fixture.

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