An India-Pakistan cricket game is just a game.
Cricket will be the winner at the end of it all.
Sports and politics should not mix.
The general public of Pakistan want nothing but friendly relations with India.
India and Pakistan would be bhai-bhai had it not been for evil politicians.
Pakistan is as much a victim of terror as India.
Tensions between the two countries can be solved by people-to-people interactions.
Now that we have got the politically correct guano out of the way, let’s talk some real shit, shall we?
Come Wednesday, it’s IT.
The India-Pakistan rivalry is like no other in modern sport namely because these are the only countries which spill each other’s blood regularly (One side spills more blood than the other but you already knew that didnt you?). A game between them is not just about who scores more runs than the other. No sir, its about who puts the boot on whose throat and who first chokes on one’s own blood and phlegm. Its about national humiliation. I know that should not be it. Neither should Kasab be the official guest of the country. But that is the truth. So come to terms with it. And leave the bullcrap at the door.
The first salvo in this battle was sent by our Main Man Singh sending an invitation of fransip to Pakistani PM Gilani and Pakistan Ten-Per-Cent-In-Chief Zardari, just as Zardari tells Kerry that “India helped Mumbai attacks” [Link] It’s such Tohfa Kabool Ho moments from our Main Man that brings tears to the eyes of some of us and brings cries of orgasmic euphoria from the Asha Aman men and women.
A country sends their trained army over to our borders to kill innocent people, makes heroes out of the perpetrators, blames India for this dastardly attack and we react by inviting these fine men, who funded the attack and provide cover for the attackers, over to our country to enjoy our hospitality. It would make better sense to clone 10 copies of Ravindra Jadeja and make that the Indian cricket team. Or perhaps the master plan is to keep the entire Pakistani top-brass in the stadium so that the LET (the only India-facing terror group that has never targeted the Pakistani government) stays away—after all who wants to shoot the hand that finally signs the cheque?
So now we know that Gilani is coming. And as gracious hosts, we need to take care of security. Not just their security but security from them. For instance, if you are a woman you definitely need to be protected from Gilani in a crowd. [Video…moderately NSFW] since he is very much “Chance pe dance maar le” types.
As for Zardari (should he come ), we need to make sure he pays for his female “tour guides” (or more precisely tour escorts) unlike what he did in Turkey.
We also need to make sure that Shahid Afridi is not made unhappy—-in a press conference Afridi has said that the Indian media has been writing negative things about his team like raising questions about Afridi’s age, enquiring whether Misbah ul Haq, a Physics graduate from Pakistan, knows Newton’s Third Law of Motion (He would be forgiven for not knowing that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” since he lives as a neighbor of India), investigating whether this actually is Kamran Akmal after a good day of sponsored catch-dropping and whether it is true that every Pakistani cricketer is made to repeat “I shall not point my bat at Venkatesh Prasad” hundred times before every World Cup match against India. Because if Afridi is not happy, he may bring out his Boom Boom. And we do not want that.
On the field, the first burning question is whether Shoaib Akthar will play. I think he should. As purely a cricketing decision, it makes sense for him to play because this will be his last match. Akthar is a big-match showboat player and he will definitely give it his-all (the main problem through his career has been that once selected, he would go “off mood” and refuse to complete his quota citing injury). Against India for the final time and on such a big stage and in front of a partisan Indian crowd, he will truly bleed green, drawing oxygen from every last bit of organic growth from his nether regions. That is guaranteed. As an Indian fan, I want him to play because he is one of the last of the vanishing breed of Pakistani cricket players one loved to hate, supremely talented larger-than-life swinging dicks who played their best when cornered (the only other left is Afridi) and nothing would give me more pleasure than to see him thumped by our cricketers in his last match.
The second question is India’s bowling attack. Will the Mohali pitch support pace? (I hope it does not for India’s sake since our game plan relies vitally on using Yuvi as a fifth bowler). And will the Cochi Cockatoo play in place of Mild Munaf or will India’s last over specialist Nehra come back into the side? I know there is a lot of support for Josh-e-Junoon Sreesanth and if the pitch is a fast one he should indeed get the nod. I am just afraid that his overt aggression does not mess things up like it did for Zaheer in 2003. Here is the deal. Sreesanth’s aggro is a put-on act, it is not genuine badassness (like Akthar, Afridi, Miandad, Anwar, Imran, and on Indian side Ganguly and Gambhir) and one tight slap, in reality or figuratively, brings out his weepy self. He started off well against Bangladesh, did not have luck going for him and then totally fell away. This is exactly what makes him so iffy against Pakistan because the pressure will be extreme. If he could not handle an assault by Iqbal and Junaid and the rest, I shudder to think of how he would come back against a shellacking from the Pakistani batsmen whose bats will be flying from the get-go. In this respect, Munaf is the cooler head and against Pakistan keeping the ball near the stumps is a big plus, rather than exaggerated swing.
But everything, the politics and the mind-games, will become redundant once the skippers come out for the toss. Yes even Shastri and the original Pakistani murgi Aamir Sohail’s shadow sparring over who has the better hair job will no longer be relevant [Video]
Two counties will hold their breath. The universe shall shake with sound. Two great teams will circle each threateningly.
War will begin.
And there will be pain. Yes sir. There will be pain.
[Images courtesy: Dawn and other sources]