I still smile warmly when I think of Pakistan’s victories in the semi final and final of the World Twenty20. As should everyone. I’ve said before that world cricket needs a strong Pakistan side. Their strength and talent should never be doubted, it is their consistency that has been lacking. Add consistency to their undoubted talent and you have a team ready to worry and perhaps beat the best in the world on a regular basis.
Osman Samiuddin’s piece in Cricinfo celebrates the Pakistan team’s gift to the nation. As usual there is some excellent stuff there which sheds extra light on things for we Westerners. Younus Khan comes in for deserved praise and is compared to Inzamam-ul-Haq for his dignity. Such comparisons are wrong. Younus Khan is better than Inzamam because Younus hasn’t had a moment of madness like the one Inzamam had at the Oval.
You know, the one where he and his team refused to take the field. Yes, Younus was a part of that team and we may never know exactly what transpired in that dressing room to result in the mess that happened.
I’m willing to bet that if circumstances like those in that test match do arise again, Younus would have the dignity and awareness to act with the grace and sense which had left the senses of many on that day in 2006. A fine player to watch, a fine captain and above all he comes across as an excellent human being.
Remember, this victory comes despite the efforts of the PCB to alienate themselves from everyone else in the world cricket community. The match referee for the final was Chris Broad, the former England opener who Ijaz Butt had raved about deserving to be banned.
Did we hear anything from Mr Insensitive then? No.
Wouldn’t it be a joy to see Pakistan at the top of the ICC test cricket rankings?
England will host two test matches and two Twenty20 games between Pakistan and Australia. This is great news and I hope that Headingley and Edgbaston are awarded those games. If you haven’t been in a city where Pakistan are playing then you cannot know what kind of an atmosphere there is. The mercurial side against the mean machine – to watch those games as a neutral (well, neutral-ish) would be a delight.