Good luck Pakistan-

Ordinarily I’m stuck between three teams, England (I don’t like failing the Tebbit Test), India (Vidhi) & Pakistan (apni Qaum).

So I don’t want to say anything to jinx Pakistan but I play pool the way Pakistan plays cricket, erratically with flashes of brilliance.

40 Replies to “Good luck Pakistan-”

  1. India nowadays plays as if it does not even need supporters. They play like white countries now.

    1. There are no “white countries” when it comes to cricket. Australia is sui generis. The Indian team is, commendably, playing the way Aussies often do. Fingers crossed: we should lift the trophy this time.

      Though I have no Tebbitt test to live up to, I admit to feeling sorry for England. They are at serious risk of not making the semis at this point, in a world cup in their own country. And unlike in previous decades, this is truly a good team they’ve put together.

  2. It strange that England rise in cricket has not significantly altered the British desi population support for their origin countries. Perhaps it has to do with British team stocked with clones of captain america’ish super solider serum from number 1-6 where you can hardly differentiate one from another.

    1. A few years ago, I tried comparing the average heigh of England’s football and cricket teams.

      Almost half the footballers were below 5’10” (Rooney, Sterling etc) while IIRC none of the cricketers were. The footballers also seem to be more diverse looks wise (not just race).

      Even the desis they select turn out to be tall Captain American-ish like Vikram Solanki and Nasser Hussain.

      I guess some class thing going on?

    2. They have 2 Pakistani-descent cricketers who are more or less permanent fixtures in the side these days (Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.) And they have the occasional West Indian (Jofra Archer currently.) So it’s rarely been all lily-white in my experience.

      But I think this is an excuse. I’d like to know exactly why people of “Asian” descent in England prefer to support India/Pakistan/Bangladesh rather than England in cricket. If any of them aspire to be international cricketers, it’ll have to be through the England system and the England team, so not supporting that team seems strange to me. (I can understand why FOBs would find it hard to shed their loyalties, but not people who were born and bred there.)

      1. “why people of “Asian” descent in England prefer to support India/Pakistan/Bangladesh rather than England in cricket”

        Its one of those thing one cant really win, dammed if you do, dammed if you dont.

        If you support your Asian country, you are not loyal to your adopted country.
        If you support your adopted country, you have forgotten your roots.

        Personally, I think best cut the knot with the home country and go the whole hog and become Western, even marrying a Caucasian. There will be flak from both sides, but at least you would be consistent to yourself.

        1. Actually, I was referring to the second and later generations. I think the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” conundrum applies mainly (or only) to immigrants.

  3. TBH watching England cricket team has made me sympathize with the whole “all Indians look the same to me” done by white folks.

      1. my mare mounted,
        my sword drawn,
        my kafir nymphet deflowered
        I think I have my panache intact.

        #JaggzThundererKuffarPlunderer

        wherez kabir broz dese dayz??

    1. Pakistanis will be cheering India on Sunday when we face England. Pakistan needs England to lose to have a chance of getting through to the semi-finals.

      So #SupportTheKuffars 🙂

      1. Well one less so, considering Partition is seen as freedom from “Hindu domination” not necessary the Brits.

  4. For those living in the UK, could you please tell me how much the people there are into the World Cup? I watch some matches and hear some commentary and think cricket in the UK is dead, but at other times it also feels like the UK is quite interested and engaged. Just wanted a sense of how things are on the ground.

    1. Its similar to field hockey in India. People get into it at times, but nowhere near as popular as football. People wont get emotional about England getting knocked out before the semis.

  5. I think UK folks have too much on their mind right now to really get emotional about anything.

    Frankly though i see this as the last roll of dice for English cricket. If a (mostly) white young cricket team (rather than full of desis) cannot make the English re discover their passion for cricket , don’t know what will.

    1. Think there’s always been a class angle. Cricket was never a plebs games, and never as popular as football. But it’s had a niche following, which will likely continue. To that crowd, the ODI World Cup is much less important than the Ashes that will follow it.

      It’s like in SA or NZ, where rugby is more popular but so is the cricket team at certain times of the year.

      BTW, as a field hockey fan, I think it’s a lot more popular in India than the commenter above gives it credit for.

      1. Hockey India’s revenue is barely 6 million dollars a year, BCCI’s is 300 million dollars.

        The ECB’s revenue is around 200 million dollars, English football’s revenue is around 6 billion.

        The ratio is in the same order of magnitude.

        Fundamentally, sports are a vehicle for advertising as far as the business world is concerned. So this is a good measure of popularity.

        1. Slightly disagree. Though cricket is indeed wildly popular, much of its popularity is skin deep patriotism masquerading as love for the sport. Which is really what advertisers are really after. My personal measure of popularity factors in what kids play and people talk about, and by that standard, both football and hockey are probably not too far behind cricket.

          1. Such amount of stupidities compressed in one article required significant physical effort.

  6. My friends and I have tried to talk cricket to Australians here in the US on many occasions. Met every time with disinterest. New Zealanders are a bit more polite, but much the same.

    Its a shame because I have had immersions in the Indian (cricket), British (football) and American (college football/ NFL) worlds, and came out with the conclusion that cricket appeals to me the most.

    The idea that your decisions at a given time will matter an hour later is unique to cricket. Plays are coupled in time, not in space. In football and American football, scoring ‘cancels’ each other and the game in some sense keeps resetting. Cricket mimics the universe in that every happening is cumulative and no resets.

    Also, the commentary on cricket, especially from the English commentators is the best I have seen in any sport so far. Folks like Nasser Hussain, David Gower and Bhogle can write books.

    1. Mentioned the Indian cricket board’s revenue above. And Indian GDP is 50 times lower than its potential as of today.

  7. Re: cricket.

    Using the ‘opportunity’ these couple days to be at home with a kid who has flu, to visit BP a bit longer. I was planning to write an essay about social aspects of cricket but here I will present only sketches. I think that many BPs on the first bowling will be very pissed off but if they scratch their heads they probably will agree with me.

    Cricket is in SA (and everywhere else) a colonial relict. It wouldn’t be problem per se but considering that it is a brainless, repetitive, anachronicle, medieval and boring activity, the thinking pundits should see its background. Everything relating to cricket is simply unreal – from the space which requires (especially in megalopolises) and utilisation during the year, pitch preparation (especially bowling space), sporting equipment (helmets with grids, gloves, ‘special’ balls, stumps, bats, leg protection, special jumpers, etc). Umpiring is such grotesque with a guy who spends a whole day staying (why they don’t give him a chair?) as a guard in front of Back Palace, keeping the hat and glasses of the bowler and everyone waiting for him to rise his middle finger. And audience which is designated for unemployed or people who do not need to work and can spend days sitting until they get sunstroke. And those funny guys who wait for a whole day to jump and rise the cardboard with number 9 (or 6?). And these ‘competitions’ which last for days and weeks without any system, without beginning and ends (test, ashes, shields). And this counting which you never know who is leading, who will win. And these players at edges who spend a whole day waiting (chairs for them, too) close to boundary lines. And guys who wait for their turn, sitting and boring. And TV broadcasts with commentators who struggle for whole day to make some stories and stifling with stats. And, if one guy simply jumps to get a ball, it gets repeated million times with slow motions, making impressions of some super dynamic and atomic sport. And ball tampering…sledging …give me a break. West Indies? – better for them to stick with snow sledding. And…could make many other ands.

    In Australia, for example, the cricket is a virtual racist preserve. They have pretty high standards for multiculturalism and it is forbidden to express racism (especially toward aboriginal people) but there are some areas where non-anglo people have difficult access. The cricket is one of them (there is one Pak token). Because they are big beer lovers, at least the various audience ‘armies’ use the cricket as an excuse to go there I drink for whole day.

    In sum, SA people should wake up and conclude that the above degenerative activity (i.e. passivity) does not contribute to their physical and mental welfare. If there is any quality in this (although it is better spend a day on fresh air instead of sitting at home) some other nation in the world would be adopting and practicing this ‘sport’. The rest of the world see cricket as an example of English eccentricity, racism and colonialism.

    SA countries have strong human basis to promote global sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc) and I believe that with one comprehensive state programme (I could make one on a half a page) in only one-two years they could become globally competitive. More important, this would activate hundreds of millions kids and contribute to nations’ physical and mental health and develop enormous number of businesses on the way. And, also important, nations would emancipate and start a process of mental decolonisation although, I think, the most are not ready yet. It is up to BPundits to take a leadership role in this.

    1. Hello Milan, the English introduced all the modern sports they invented in India. Soccer, hockey, rugby and cricket among others.

      The second oldest soccer trophy (after the FA cup), the Durand cup, is still played in India. Uptil the late 1960s, India had one of the best soccer teams in Asia.

      In hockey, India utterly dominated the world for many decades, and is still ranked in the top 10 for both men and women.

      The choice of cricket in India was made from a competition between sports, in which cricket emerged naturally as the favourite. The reasons for this are complex and perhaps difficult to appreciate for an outsider. If you are interested, I would recommend a ‘The Tao of Cricket’ by Ashis Nandy to understand why cricket appeals to Indians at a psychological level.

  8. I am just thankful that we didn’t’ choose soccer. Considering our diet and fitness levels we would have been some perennial also rans in different Tournaments and Leagues. Also its better to be the King of a small Kingdom rather than a baron in a bigger one.

    It feels good to be the United States of Cricket

    1. You cant compare the diet and fitness levels of elite athletes to lay people. Hockey requires much more fitness than soccer, and Indians excel at it.

      What matter much more are access to proper coaching and high levels of competition does. Soccer has two problems:

      1) Its rather boring, the space of possibilities at any given instant of play are rather limited. In cricket, dramatic outcomes are possible on every play. I really doubt it can appeal to Indians at a deep level.

      2) The best soccer is played on mainland Europe and we have no natural connection to those countries. To it credit, the AIFF has recognized this and sends India’s younger teams abroad whenever it can, and results have improved markedly in the last 5 years.

      I think the appeal of soccer worldwide will diminish in the coming years, once poor developing countries realize that the mercantile minded mainland Europeans will only indulge them for a quadrennial ‘World Cup’ and the odd foreign player in their leagues.

  9. “Hockey requires much more fitness than soccer, and Indians excel at it.”

    I think you are mistaken. India’s heyday in Hockey were mostly in the days where skills mattered more than physicality(fitness et all) . As soon as Hockey became more physical challenging, India and Pakistan started losing their mojo to white countries.

    To give you another example India does not do well in Single Tennis but does well in doubles, within the very same game you can see the reason why it is so.

    On soccer losing its appeal, well I think you could be correct, but i am not sure what other sports can “poor developing countries” really turn towards on a mass scale. Soccer is still the most cost effective sport they have till they become richer.

    1. I think India’s decline in hockey was a natural consequence of not being able to keep pace with an evolving sports landscape, as new nutrition and kinesiology research, as well coaching techniques started making big impacts on all sports across the board.

      Once the country opened up in 1990, this new knowledge was absorbed and India’s sporting results have improved.

  10. Not disputing that it hasn;t improved. Indian sports levels have gone up and up. In Cricket itself you could see the changes as our physical ability has gone up and up . Bigger talent pool of faster bowlers, fitter fieldsman and better Hitters.

    But we are still miles behind countries , forget the west, even other Asian countries. For a country of India’s size it will always produce the requisite numbers of athletes which would make us look “respectable” in some sporting arena or the other. Yes we are not the pushovers spelling bee contest winners from yesteryear, but we aren’t Michael Jordan as well.

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