As expected the Lord did not come to the rescue of our cricket team. Notwithstanding colour or creed, He stuck to his age-old principle of siding with the better squad. The artificial sky of exaggerated hopes and hypes began to fall through from the very first ball and completely collapsed in the next few overs. The ‘boyez’ will be welcomed home with garlands of stuff that we wear on our feet. There will be consequences, inquiries and resignations. The nation will mourn for 40 days and fly the national flag at half mast. Every channel will dedicate half of its air time to keep repeating, over and over again, how every batsman met his Waterloo. The sickening ‘tamasha’ will go on ad nauseam. After all, losing a cricket match is far more serious than losing a war – a feat we managed to perform in the same city some 43 years ago.
Pakistanis ought to re-assess their media manufactured cricket hysteria – largely sponsored by commercials, consumerism, corporates and bookies. Why must our patriotism be hostage to a bunch of half-baked players winning or losing a game. How come our patriotism is not hurt when we are told that thousands of schools are closed in Sindh (and other provinces) while the teachers get their salaries sitting at home. How come our patriotism is not hurt when we find our political parties patronizing gangs of private militias. How come our patriotism is not hurt when the leaders stoop to negotiate with those who play football with the heads of our soldiers. Clearly our patriotism does not hurt when our little girls are raped, our churches bombed, our temples burnt and our minorities massacred. Time to rethink and reframe our ‘patriotism’ in a more meaningful context.