The owner of the Lahore Qalandars team, Fawad Rana, exemplifies the Pakistani cricket buff through his unwavering love for Umar Akmal (slightly disturbing we know), undying passion for the sport, and the ability to smile through adversity. His team may have not qualified for the semis of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), but the businessman, who dared to invest in the league, has gained the entire nation’s love and support. He took Jawad Ahmed’s, “tum Jeeto ya haaro humein tumse pyaar hai”, a little too seriously, but don’t we all?
Because cricket in Pakistan is not for the faint of heart.
Televisions get broken, players get cursed, (p.s. we don’t encourage bad vibes and words), but, in the end, it brings us together!
We remember, during vacations, cousins from across the globe gathered at Nano or Dado’s to play cricket until knees were bruised and battered, until that mean uncle from across the street entered with a grave face to remind Amma jee “zara parosiyon ki khidhkiyon ka khayal karein”, or until the smell of fresh pakoras blurred the view of the winning captain’s pompous face.
The joy that came with playing cricket was greater than the fear of being called an “over larki”. We didn’t shy away from stepping out, why should you?
Let’s share some of our wonderful experiences we had when we did what our brand always asks us to do: stepoutside!
“I remember once we had a boys versus girls match in our courtyard and I was the girl’s team’s captain,” narrates one of our team members. “Since I was the eldest, I got to bowl first. I took the ball in my hands and didn’t give up until the other team was all out on a measly score of 20. Then came our turn to bat, and guess who went out to bat? Yes, yours truly! I went and made 20 runs all by myself, won the match single handedly, and that was the last time I played cricket with my cousins. Sigh.”
Another team member narrates how they arranged tea-time cricket at their ancestral home in village.
“There was no pitch so to speak. All our chaachis and Maamis had chai and kebabs under the neem tree while we entertained them with our sloppy match. To say it was sloppy is an understatement. The so-called fielders were unable to move in time because of the ankle-deep mud and even when they did, they tripped over a long forgotten brick and found themselves sprawled across the muddy ground. The ballers could hardly complete their run-up because their feet got caught in cow dung every now and then. It was a disaster…WE were a disaster! But we had a good laugh while we scraped layers and layers of mud off our various body parts.”
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