ICC Champions Trophy – Lessons for future
By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
“Where there is will there is way”, the most popular English proverb has been truly proved by the Pakistan Cricket Team whose outstanding performance led to win the ICC Champions Trophy in the Oval, England. The magnificent victory in the holy month of Ramazan has, no doubt, brings happiness and jubilation for the whole nation after a long time. Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur dedicated this memorable triumph against defending champion India to the Pakistani nation. It shows that despite facing a number of various challenges, Pakistan is a dynamic country and Pakistani nation has dynamic potential to achieve its goals, either in sports or related to other fields of life. Moreover, we should be thankful to Almighty God for His uncounted blessings on our beloved country.
Before the start of the cricket tournament, there was not even a single prediction for Pakistan’s success. According to experts, Pakistan was at the lowest rank which was able to beat only one top team in the last World Cup. Pakistan failed to show any impressive performance in the fields of batting, bowling and fielding during the last few years. Our legendary players were seen more active on TV commercials than in the cricket field. As far as team management is concerned, the captain was changed occasionally, and a new opening pair in every new match becomes a part of routine. While there was rise in the criticism for dropping specific players, captain-coach conflicts and PCB issues made news headlines in the media. International cricket was almost dead in Pakistan following the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. International media under the influence of Indian lobbies, and Pakistani media, were presenting the negative aspects about our cricket team. Even Pakistani cricket fans were so much disappointed with the defeat of Pakistan by India in the start of ICC Champions trophy.
Despite all such negative predictions, today whole world of cricket is admiring Pakistani cricket team as the Champion of Champions after magnificent victory in the Oval under the leadership of Captain Sarfraz. I think, Pakistani cricket team victory is a lesson for all those who believe on struggling for success in their life with honesty, hard work, trust in God and turning a deaf ear to criticism.
Cricket is also known as “Sports of Gentlemen” whose purpose is to flourish high moral values where players are required to demonstrate their skills honestly. Britain introduced the cricket game to flourish golden rules of sportsmanship like tolerance, equality and moral values among its colonies. The first international cricket match was between Britain and then-colonial United States around two hundred years ago. There is a famous English saying “It’s not cricket” which use to criticize foul play, dishonesty and malpractices in the daily life. The crucial role of umpire cannot be denied because whole game revolves around his indicators and respect to his decisions. Once a batsman is declared “out”, he has no other option but to leave the ground for the next player. Nobody is allowed to show any reaction against the decision of umpire for the sake of discipline. Today almost all Commonwealth countries used to play cricket but it gains huge popularity in Pakistan and India owing their traditional rivalry.
Cricket, no doubt, is also playing a vital role in promoting patriotism among Pakistani nation especially when the match is played against India. Pakistani people stay united by keeping aside all their ethnic and cultural differences. Special prayers are offered for the success of Pakistani team in mosques, temples, churches and other religious worship places. #PakistanZindabad hash tag remained the top trend on Twitter on the occasion of Champions Trophy final match day where social media users within Pakistan and abroad expressed their good wishes and laurels for Pakistani cricket team.
Like other sectors, commercialization and glamorization have also affected the noble game of cricket. Allegations about gambling and match fixing are increasing day by day. For cheap publicity usage of foul language from senior actors is also condemnable. People should understand that victory and defeat are part of game and hence, presenting of cricket matches as a war like situation between two countries is not healthy for any civilized society.
I think, the great victory in the recently-held ICC Champions tournament would have tremendous impacts on our future. This victory is a new ray of hope for Pakistan emerging from various challenges. Joyful celebrations of youngsters on streets along with prize announcements from political and military leadership for cricket team has boosted morale of the nation. In the context of current Pakistan-India tussle, this victory has contradicted the impression that Pakistan is unable to win from India in any international tournament. Our historical victory is being lauded all over the world and international community can foresee Pakistan as an emerging player on the international arena.
I think we should benefit from this memorable triumph on the diplomatic front. This is a golden opportunity to move forward for the normalization of bilateral relations between Pakistan and India. Let’s hope that Pakistani cricket stadiums will once again welcome the international teams in near future.