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SIX YEARS OF TORTURE ENDS
Well, at last it happened. A contest between bat and ball for which the nation had to wait for six long years. The drought of cricket in Pakistan ended by the positive gesture given by the Zimbabwean cricket team. 22ND of may 2015 witnessed something special in Lahore. It all felt exceedingly normal before the match, policemen, snipers and security guards had surrounded the Gaddafi stadium Lahore. There was a lot of uncertainty and confusion on the roads leading towards the Gaddafi Park.
At 6 PM in the evening the crowd of Lahore made the occasion count. Spectators were busting at the seams the moment when Zimbabwean national anthem was played and when they played the national anthem of Pakistan it seemed like as if the whole of the Gaddafi stadium had shaken up. People were anxious, excited, overjoyed and what not.
The applaud from the crowd was quite desperate, they had to wait for over two thousand days for the game which is adored by the nation. The game took off with the Zimbabwean innings. Home support was given to the Zimbabweans as a gesture of respect. Crowed backed and chanted the opposition team at every run and every boundary being hit. There were nervy moments too when Zimbabweans posted a healthy target for the men in green.
There came a moment when Shehzad hit a lovely boundary and the crowd started chanting Selfie Selfie. Couple of minutes later he turned back and waved to the Lahore crowd posing as if he was taking a “selfie. The crowd erupted with joy and excitement, on an another occasion the wicket keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed missed a simple stumping chance and the crowd transformed into shouting Dhoka..Dhoka..Dhoka!! In that very moment you could feel that the sport had return to the motherland.
At the end Pakistan also provided Zimbabwe with a tight finish to the game which was all and all a one sided affair. It wasn’t a nail biting finish but still the crowd was on the edge of their seats because you can expect anything from the Pakistan team. In came Shahid Afridi, the crowd smacked the plastic bottles to a vociferous rhythm, they chanted Afridi…Afridi, the captain replied by hitting a winning boundary. It sure was a delight to watch. One couldn’t have asked for any better.
After so many years this normal T20 game brought the nation closer. The whole nation was beating at the same pace. It reminded the people of Pakistan that they too belong to a cricketing fraternity. We hope that one day cricket will revive with its full colors in Pakistan.