By Sushil Kutty
So, they will have a ball across the Wagah Border and all we will have this side will be TV screens painted in Pakistani green! Gather the import? Well, all of Pakistan will be on its knees praying for a Pakistan win in the semis against Australia. The other semi is between England and New Zealand.
Again, gather the import, know what that means to all of us? Nope? Well, tell you what, the rest of us Indians, if we all stay glued to TV sets watching Pakistan play Australia in the semis and Islamabad roars in raucous victory at the end of the day, then we will all have paid through our pinched noses to see arch-enemy Pakistan post victory.
Ditto if Pakistan defeats either New Zealand or England, whichever team wins in the other semis, in the 2021 T-20 finals! Ugh. This isn’t what we expected from Team India in the T-20 World Cup. This is not what we expected from Capt. Viraat Kohli and his bunch of “lads in blue.”
Should we troll Ravi Shastri, Saurav Ganguly? Forget it, where is Mohammad Shami? Pity we didn’t play another couple of Muslims in ‘Team India’ in the tournament, then we would have had not one Shami but two or three to troll at this time of national grief, right?
And to think that we were told that we acted like we hadn’t had enough of Shami to begin with. It was only later it emerged that “Mohammad Shami trolling” was the doing of the ISI and sections of Pakistan media. That Pakistan-expert Barkha Dutt had got it wrong! Forget that, too. It’s despicable, how many times will we be beaten by the Pakistanis? Can’t we even make a good job of trolling one of our own?
Seriously, as punishment, we ought to lift the ban on cheering Pakistani victories over India. It’s Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who slapped the sedition charge on three Kashmiri Indian students who clapped and cheered the Pakistan win over India. What a troll! Does the Yogi even know the game of cricket, what LBW stands for or what’s ‘cover’ and what’s ‘cover-drive’?
It’s only in India that “gully-danda” politicians of the cow-belt, bald of any truth, mess up the gentleman’s game of cricket just because they want to play politics. The Shiv Sena were masters at the game for a long time till the time when Bollywood superstars started buying IPL teams. Now, the Shiv Sena cannot stop haunting the Wankhede! Not even the name Sameer Wankhede can stop it. Ask Nawab Malik!
The Pakistanis, in fact, beat us twice in a row. Once with the opening victory and then when the ICC commentator of Pakistani origin called all the Hindus who had watched Pakistan beat India ‘Kafur’ and revelled in the Pakistan win. His co-religionists in parts of India where Tata-Sky and Airtel and Reliance have set up antennas nodded in sober agreement.
The real story is that an India-Pakistan cricket match is not cricket, it is ‘War’. Is that a fact? There are folks in India who find the outrage over India’s “shameful” exit from the World Cup outrageous! “How can it be?” they ask. “Pakistan remains in the hunt! As long Pakistan is there, we are there. The Cup will remain in Asia, will it not? With India out, it’s no longer ‘World Cup’, it is the ‘Asia Cup!’”
They say Indians and Pakistanis are cricket-crazy; that cricket keeps us tied at the fence, and that it doesn’t matter whether we live mired in poverty or starve like famished rats, as long as there is cricket, we’ll let the most crooked politician rule us and live to tell the tale! That may be so, the reality is for us – the practical parts of the two-nation theory – even cricket goes for a toss if either one of us turns up the loser!
If Pakistan lose, TV sets are hurled to pieces in Pakistan. If India lose, television analysts start talking and yakking and it is worse than a broken TV set, “believe me you”. The amount of dribble thrown at viewers would shame a hockey match with Dhyanchand in it! India’s cricket analysts can’t stop talking till even after the cows have all come home. Then they make it worse by calling in inputs from Pakistan’s cricket experts!
Right now, these days, what India’s exit from the ‘T-20 World Cup’ means for India and cricket is being thrashed out on every TV set and that is the only reason why people haven’t lost their shirts listening to Nawab Malik’s ‘Wankhedenama’. The Nawab is making up for Kohli’s “cowardice.” Kapil Dev is pissed off with Kohli for being selfishly IPL-centric and Kohli’s actor wife Anushka Sharma continues to remain a Kohli! “How so?” ask the cricket-crazy anti-Pakistani trolls. (IPA Service)