(Non Cricketing) Review of Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by ComradeVenom, May 31, 2015.

(Non Cricketing) Review of Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by ComradeVenom, May 31, 2015.

by Mohammed Akhtar
May 31, 2015 at 9:00 PM
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    After the final match suffered from the elements lashing down on Lahore the Zimbabwean contingent rushed to the Gaddafi Stadium to catch a flight to swiftly exit the country. A period of simultaneous tension and delight at cricket finally coming home has now given way to quiet relief that it went (relatively) okay but also a gnawing pang of regret as it feels like its not enough.

    The tour was put into jeopardy after a savage attack on a Karachi bus but after a period of wrangling and negotiation it took place...and what a spectacle it was! The Zimbabweans were greeted fanatically by a cricket starved population, Pakistani fans hoisted Zimbabwe flags and painted their faces in their colours. Even watching the match on TV was a joyous occasion with many who usually possess an ambivalent attitude towards the game unless it is a big match found themselves glued to the screen sharing the excitement of the crowd in Lahore. Every run was cheered in the stadium and many fans spoke of how they were reduced to tears when they heard the Pakistani national anthem echoing through the stadium for the first time in years. The crowd was fanatical and did not subside in their passionate support for both teams throughout the five games.

    If somebody who had not watched cricket in many years and had no idea of the context of the series was placed in front of a TV screen and asked to describe what was going on they would surely describe it as the perfect cricket setting, the positive and cheery facade hid the mammoth security effort behind the scenes.

    The touring party were brought to the stadium under armed guard, streets were cleared for their arrival, spectators went through numerous checkpoints before they could enter the stadium and the level of army and police security provided exceeded even the highest levels of presidential security. It is a sad indictment of the state of Pakistan that something as banal as cricket requires so much protection but credit to them for providing it - they were taking no chances.

    On the fourth match the reasons for this level of security became painfully obvious. Two brave police officers laid down their lives to protect spectators and players from a bomb attack. How callous are those that target such a joyous occassion? They were thankfully unsuccessful in getting to their target but the martyrdom of those officers and their brave colleagues who lined up to protect spectators should never be forgotten. In a strange way, despite this attack the security operation can be termed as a success. The stadium proved impregnable and through deliberate obfuscation of the news reports the second ODI took place uninterrupted. That the Zimbabwe side agreed to play the 3rd match is a testament to their grace and strength of character as they showed their solidarity to the country that welcomed them emphatically.

    All contributors to this tour should be thanked, the crowd made the most of their time infront of the cameras to post witty messages reminded the wider cricketing world of their existence, the zimbaweans played each match in good spirits and made statements speaking highly of their time in Pakistan and the PCB/Pakistani government too delivered on ensuring that the touring side was not harmed

    Overall the tour can be considered a success but not enough of a success to convince other teams to tour. Not many teams will desire to play cricket surrounded by so much security but it gives the PCB some hope, they have managed to take the first step, the most difficult step and brought cricket home. Many of them will breathe a sigh of relief, look back and reflect on what must have been a tense few days and then recommence the struggle to make sure it comes back permanently. It is not going to be easy, the threat is still real and it may be years before it is eradicated but for a brief period of time, before the gates of the Gaddafi are sealed again, the world witnessed the fervour and passion of Pakistan.
     
Mohammed Akhtar is a passionate cricket fan who has followed Pakistan around the world mainly through dodgy streams on a computer screen.
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Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by ComradeVenom, May 31, 2015.

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