Pakistan’s exit from the World Twenty20 was unceremonious to say the least and for many local followers, it was the end of their interest in the tournament.
Not for me.
As a die hard cricket fan, one simply can’t escape the excitement of a final even if your own team is not playing.
There are two teams in this match or rather two different philosophies and cultures. The classy, big boy of cricketing world: England and the noisy, flamboyant West Indies.
And there is no prize for guessing who I’ll be cheering for.
In the 70s and early 80s, this team was indomitable, conquering one field after another. It holds no more of that old legacy, but still evokes passion in the hearts of cricket fans with their exciting brand of cricket and their antics on the ground.
You just can’t help but love the West Indies.
The big drums, funky hats, exquisite dances, loud chanting and big wide grins. You can’t help but love the way West Indian supporters enjoy their cricket.
But if you think their crowds know how to celebrate, take a look at their players.
In past they celebrated with 8 ft tall high fives. Now they do it with their dances.
After every important wicket and every great victory, when they win a World Cup final, or simply at the post-match presentation, there’s something special that the West Indies players offer.
When they win a World T20 semi-final, they enter their hotel lobby dancing over tunes of “Champion” (one of a couple Dwayne Bravo singles). Amen to that.
They were one of the most loyal foreign players in our Pakistan Super League and added a lot of flavour to the tournament. One of them jumped up and down like a worried father outside a maternity ward, over a simple cricket match. The other cried when his team was losing. A rare kind of passion in today’s professional cricket. When Pakistan was struggling to get international audiences, these players delivered the best show in time and we have thank them for that.
And who can forget their smashing win over giants India in the semi-final on Thursday. At the expense of rubbing the India fans the wrong way, I must admit this is a big reason why I want them to go all the way now.
I have no problems with England either.
The fact that they have ruled us for 200 hundred years has nothing to do with it. I consider them quite a competent team, with perhaps the best cricket setup. It’s just that I like West Indies better.
They are more earthy, lively and sometimes crude like us. Great Fast Bowlers? Check! swashbuckling batsmen? Check! Players’ strikes? Check! Team politics? Check! Scandals? Check.
Sometimes the West Indians feel like our brothers from other mothers. Their victory would almost be as sweet.