It’s So Hard Being a Pakistan Cricket Fan

Robert Plutchik, in the twentieth century, proposed a classification approach for general emotions. He considered that there were eight primary feelings a man frequently experiences – anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust and joy.

He went on to explain that all emotions vary from one another and that they are often in pairs of polar opposites. Hence, joy is contrasted with sadness, anger is up against fear. Trust versus disgust and surprise versus anticipation. In short, a human being is capable of feeling only one emotion at a time for a considerable period.

But, just proceed to watch Pakistan play. Switching from extraordinary to plain in just a moment’s notice, all psychological theories can come to naught when they are in action.

Ebbing and flowing in every game, capable of changing the dynamics in a fleeting second or leaving fans befuddled with their sheer stupidity, the Pakistan team invoke a myriad of emotions every time they take the field. And the story in this World Cup has been no different.

After a good run in the ODI series against England in May, where they constantly breached the 330-run mark, Pakistan were skittled out for only 105 in their World Cup opener against West Indies.

The nerves of the big stage coupled with the extra pace and bounce that the Windies bowlers got only made life more miserable for the Asian team, as they walked back to the pavilion in quick succession.

But just when it was assumed that Windies would win an easy game, out emerged a bright spark in the form of Mohammad Amir, who varied his lengths brilliantly and took advantage of the overcast conditions to send back two rival players.

A slight hope ignited amid the gloom. A brilliant running catch by Mohammad Hafeez in the fifth over set the ball rolling, but a drop by Wahab Riaz in the 12th over diminished it all.

Shoaib Akhtar called Sarfaraz Ahmed “fat”. Their fitness levels were dissected by animated journalists. Fans lost all faith… and so did we.

But, Pakistan being Pakistan, had to turn it around. Just like they did in the 1992 World Cup or in the 2017 Champions Trophy, the team staged a remarkable comeback to usurp England, who, many termed unbeatable.

Also Read: Pakistan’s 2019 WC Campaign Similar to When They Won in 1992

Pakistan defeated them at their own game – by scoring close to 350 runs then piling on the pressure. It was a brilliant display of batting with an… abysmal fielding effort. Joe Root was dropped on a good batting track. The heart went out to the men in the middle. Moeen Ali was dropped off a tough chance.

Well tried, lads. But when Asif Ali dropped a a sitter in the 48th over off Riaz, it was pure frustration! “You have the game in your bag, please do not lose this one!” They finally hobbled their way to a 14-run win and fans could breathe again.

Mohammad Amir shone with the ball against Australia picking up 5 wickets – but oh, wasn’t he ignored from the preliminary squad? What? Were they planning to win the World Cup title without their premier fast bowler? *face palm*.

And then... Asif Ali went on to drop both Aaron Finch and David Warner off easy chances. He couldn’t lock Finch in and Warner’s was an easy sitter. YOU GOT TO TAKE THOSE ALI! The duo ultimately ran away with the game, as Pakistani fans took to Twitter to share memorable memes that made people across the boundary chuckle a little.

India and Pakistan. Mohammad Amir left cricket fans mesmerised, but Ahmed’s wide-mouthed yawn left one yelling.. No. No. No…! As arch rivals, you could afford to laugh at how they ignored their former skipper and current Prime Minister Imran Khan, who asked Ahmed to bat first if they won the toss as even a target of 275 would put India under pressure.

With bowlers like Amir and Riaz in their ranks, they could, then, hope that the duo could bounce out India. The flip of the coin went in their favour. The decision to bowl first, however, did not. YOU GOT TO LISTEN TO YOUR PRIME MINISTER!

An animated – very animated video, if I can say – of a Pakistan supporter after the clash was heartfelt or hilarious – depending on which side of the border you belonged to.

However, the criticism of the side following the game was unfortunate. Sania Mirza was pulled apart, for she was present with the Pakistani team at a sheesha bar a few days before the clash with India.

Mickey Arthur stated that the dissection made him want to commit suicide, while Ahmed was called a pig in a video by a supposed ‘fan’. A strange helplessness at their situation was soon met with a queer desire to see them bounce back.

And, that is exactly what they have done. Against South Africa and against New Zealand, the Asian side have come together as an unassailable force to keep their hopes alive in the competition.

Haris Sohail played a blinder against the Proteas – he was dropped after just one failure after West Indies – while Shaheen Afridi’s lovely seam bowling against the Black Caps won hearts.

And, oh, maybe to prove a point, Ahmed latched on to a diving one-handed catch behind the wickets in a game where Pakistan dropped no catches!

After dropping six against South Africa, to drop zilch against New Zealand, the turnaround has been awe-inspiring. Though they did miss a run-out chance, marks should be awarded for the improvement.

Pakistan’s journey in the tournament thus far has been a kaleidoscopic one. They have provided laughter and despair; been at the receiving end of some nasty comments but have never failed to impress with their talent and the will to turn it around.

And if you are still not convinced, the spooky similarities of their 2019 World Cup run with the 1992 one is sure to leave you scratching your heads.

Also Read: New Zealand Outplayed By A ‘Great’ Pakistan Side: Kane Williamson

(Sarah Waris is a postgraduate in English Literature has taken on the tough task of limiting the mystic world of cricket to a few hundred words. She spends her hours gorging on food and blabbering nineteen to the dozen while awaiting the next Indian sporting triumph.)

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