Islamabad: It is about time cricket is revived in Pakistan, said a daily which noted that India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral Test series after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
An editorial “All is not lost” in The Nation on Monday said that a meeting between India and Pakistan’s cricket board chiefs in Mumbai was recently cancelled after Shiv Sena stormed the BCCI office.
“The cricket arch-rivals have yet to agree the first of six proposed series between 2015 and 2023, and luck is not on their side. India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral Test series since 2007 after the Mumbai attacks,” said the daily.
India was due to play two Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals this year in the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan play their home Tests because of security concerns. Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan has recently threatened to boycott the World T20 matches which would surely devastate many fans.
The editorial said that cricket witnessed a ‘comeback’ with the Zimbabwe series and “your average fan dared to hope that there would be more cricket at home”.
“But sadly the Pakistani people can only enjoy the great moments witnessed in these matches through television, whereas the stadiums in UAE stand empty. When Pakistan and England opened their Test series in Abu Dhabi last week, only 54 people watched the first day at the 20,000-capacity Sheikh Zayed Stadium, while numbers picked up towards the end of the match.”
It, however, added that “all is not lost as the Pakistan-England series has been an adrenaline fueled event so far”.
The first match was written off because it looked destined to be a draw on a super flat pitch, but became a desperate effort to stay alive in the dying stages. After 1,121 runs and 17 wickets in the first two innings of an extraordinarily slow-burning contest, the first Test in Abu Dhabi all but exploded into a fireworks finish, as England fell agonisingly short of glory following a Twenty20-style run-chase.”
Younis Khan broke Javed Miandad’s record of 8,832 runs in Test matches, becoming the first Pakistani batsman to reach 9,000 Test runs, while Shoaib Malik made a double smashing century.
“Overall the team effort and performance is commendable. It is about time cricket comes home to the stadiums and fields so that the sport may be revived in the country where so many avid fans are waiting,” said the daily.