Friday, April 15, 2005

A Sporting Massacre at Cawnpore

Speaking strictly for myself, I reckon the latest tour of the Pakistani cricket team to India has created a fresh post-Kargill feeling of goodwill between the two countries. Of course, there will always be hard-bitten fanatics on both sides champing at the bits for a new round of blood letting but let us ignore these unforgiving blighters for a moment.

Today we saw a 'mad' Karachi-based Pushtun belt the leather ball as only he can. It wasn't cricket as we know it but what a mighty spectacle it was for all to witness. I couldn't help but feel for Rahul Dravid and his boys. There was simply no antidote on hand to counter Afridi's brilliantly orchestrated mayhem.

Pakistani-cricket lovers owe a debt of gratitude to Bob Woolmer for finally welding a team from what was by tradition a select group of eleven egotists all vying for individual supremacy. Having patiently put up with harsh public criticism from the likes of Miandad, Imran Khan, Zaheer Abbas and a host of other egotists (including Pak cricket's patron-in-chief - the ubiquitous 'Commando' Musharraf), Woolmer has come up trumps.

It is time full credit was given to Woolmer and Inzamam-ul-Haq for what they have painstakingly produced - by turning a bunch of mainly talented unknowns into the stuff of future champions. I have always believed that if the Pakistani Eleven (prodigiously gifted as they often are) ever played as a team they could beat anyone - including those disagreeable titans of modern cricket, the Aussies.

On Sunday let us have a delightful finale. May the better team win (which biased as I am, of course, means Inzi and our boys in green).

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