Paralysed by the spot-fixing controversy, humiliated by the string of defeats, declared hopeless by its own people, the cornered tiger had not much to lose further. Licking its wounds, it sprang up and with unrelenting spirit, silenced all those who had questioned its very existence. Unpredictability is what every Pakistani cricket fan has to accept with regard to the national team. Yet, that is what makes the victories even sweeter. With the recent series win in New Zealand, the Green Shirts have shouted out to the cricketing world that they are not to be ruled out. Come February 19th, the Pakistani team will be as prepared as any other. So what if recent times have been tough for the unit, to say the least. Not finding the right team combinations, losing three top players in the spot-fixing row, the controversy stirred up by the runaway wicket-keeper, pathetic affairs of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and to top it all off, not having a captain for the World Cup till last night. The list could go on, believe me, but let’s leave the negativities in the past. For today, we gear up for the mega event. The team is oozing with spirit, and everybody seems to be finding form at just the right time. We finally seem to have a settled opening partnership with both Hafeez and Shehzad looking in excellent touch. The experienced middle order, with the likes of Misbah and Younis, can provide the backbone of our batting. And the explosive Afridi and Razzaq can always turn around any innings with their scintillating strokes. Another good thing that has come to the fore recently is that even our bowlers can bat a bit. Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir know what to do with the stick if the situation demands. So, there you have it. The team will hopefully not disappoint now as it carries the hopes of millions with it. The nation could use some good news right about now, and believe me a World Cup win would be just the right tonic. As for me, I believe that the team has what it takes to go far in the tournament. We have all the guns blazing at just the right time. As the game ends, and the players huddle together in the middle, shouting “Pakistan Zindabad”, you get the good feeling. The time is right. They have faced difficult times and come out stronger. The Green Express is ready to roll!
The Green Express!