India Pakistan Cricket Series

Posted March 24, 2004 to Pakistan category.

I just got back from watching my first ever cricket match live. Words don't do justice to the emotions going about the stadium and the hopes fluctuating with every shot. One has to be there to experience it. I dislike cricket, but the emotions surging in the crowd are so powerful that everyone gets swept up in the game - every good shot is cheered and the bad ones regretted.

This was the highest scoring one day international ever, and one of the most thrilling matches to watch. At the beginning when India was going great guns people were really disappointed - they hadn't come to see this. Then, the magnificent display of batting won people over and they started cheering the Indian side. Some people just outright gave up on the Pakistan team and become whole hearted India fans, if just for that day.

All the India batsmen played so well that it was hard not to cheer them, and sure enough the crowd started cheering on Tendulkar, Gangulay,Sehwag... they would applaud the good balls (though there were hardly any) and the next minute clap like mad for the next four (there were lots of those).

At the beginning of the Pakistani innings, things seemed hopeless with two out for hardly any runs. People started to leave... and we were debating whether to leave or not when things suddenly changed. Inzamam started playing like a cricket god and Younis at the other end tore apart the Indian bowling. The last 30 overs were nail biting, with every four and six getting a standing ovation.

At the end, when India won at the last ball, it wasn't really even a disappointment. Pakistan couldn't have been expected to do any better - they gave it their all in the end and the crowd definitely got their money's worth.

The Indian team got a five minute standing ovation as they walked off the field. It was a pround day to be a Pakistani. We lost, but as they say, it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game, and by george both sides played.

March 16: It's a tie!

Pakistan won the second match today. It went right down to the last few overs. Just before the end it seemed like India had won for sure - then 3 wickets went in quick succession and the match was won. Exciting stuff...

March 19: Peshawar One Day International

The day before: The excitement for the third match is mounting up. Once again the ticket lines were baton charged by the police - its getting to be a habit now. The ticket sales don't seem particularly well managed and there have also been accusations of a whole lot of tickets being kept back for the 'royalty' of Pakistan. Anyways, let's see what tomorrow brings...

Pakistan wins again! Now I'm hoping India wins the next match so the last one is a real cliffhanger! I was reading some newspaper articles written before the series started, and most of them were expecting so-so cricket, nothing too exciting. They couldn't have been further from the truth. Both teams seem to be going out of their way to make sure each match is a humdinger... no one can whats going to happen until the end. Someone was complaining about too much tension caused by watching the series. Maybe next time we can invite England for a tour.

March 21: The Fourth Match at Lahore

20 overs into India's batting: India's still batting, but it looks like they've lost. The match isn't even close! Shahid Adridi got out again under 10... he's making it a habit. Inzamam has really become a class player with yet another century. These matches are more exciting than any other cricket series I can remember.

India Wins! I finally understand why they all say cricket is unpredictable. India was about to lose, when Rahul "the Wall" Dravid did his magic and won them the game. Another fine game, although this one wasn't a nail biter like the previous matches. Once again the crowd at Lahore was extremely sporting (just like the crowd at the previous matches) cheering on the Indian side as well as the home team. All those idiots/pundits/politicians/reporters in the subcontinent wondering whether stadiums would have to be emptied because of crowd problems have been proven complete idiots. Anyways, now the series is tied once again, so the final match will be a real humdinger.

Dravid's calmness, Inzamam's brilliance, the hostility of Pathan, Akhtar and Mohammad Sami – it's going to be one hell of a final one-day international, and it's going to be an outstanding Test series too. If this is what India-Pakistan cricket is all about, well, give us more.
>> Wisden: The thrill of the attack

Interestingly enough, a lot of commentators have been echoing the above. Mainly, if this cricket is so good, why not more? A lot more... in fact. One of the major reasons this series is so intense is the long hiatus in between, which hopefully future series won't have. Even then, considering the amount of good will the Indian visitors are getting it should be a eye opener for our politicians. Its a long proven and implemented fact that there are sure fire votes in hatred, but give peace a chance and hate will might just pale into the background.

March 24: The deciding match

The final is going to be really something. No one can say whats going to happen. By god, there's going to be some serious betting going on... The final will be a test of mental fitness more than of physical ability/skill. Pakistan has Inzi, who never seems pressured on their side - but India have Dravid and Tendulkar, both magnificent players under pressure. The India bowling attack is pedestrian compared to the apparent talent in the Pakistani side, but one side works hard and bowls better than their inherent talents while the other more gifted side seems to solely rely on their god-gifted abilities to pull through. Hard work? No none of that... the Pakistan team had only a two week training camp. The few glimpses of the 'training' which I saw on TV fall far below any international standards. Bring a Australian professional to review the Pakistani teams training and fitness - he won't even charge a fee as their isn't anything to review.

India's Batting: 14 overs into the match and Tendulkar is out. Today was his day to shine. Whoever wins the match today for the winnind side is going to be real hero. It's now 18 overs into the match and things are going along sedately. I take that back. Its the 26th over and things have been going really smoothly for the Indians. We're now looking at 300 plus for sure. To watch the match unfold live, see the BBC's live scorecard or Cricinfo's ball by ball commentary. Ironically, India has made exactly the same score, 293, which Pakistan made in the previous match. India succesfully chased that target.

Pakistan's Batting: Doesn't look very good at the beginning of the match. Doesn't look good throughout the match. All the other four matches were exciting but the final is not even close.

India wins! And so it ends.

Update: Probably the most important thing about the matches was the amount of goodwill they generated. It's suprising how in this day and age people still hold irrational grudges against other people - but at least some of them are shedding their fears.

LAHORE, Pakistan, March 24 - When Deepak Sapra, 29, and his wife, Ipsita, 25, crossed the Indian border to watch the final one-day cricket match of the series between India and Pakistan, they hardly expected a warm welcome.

Their apprehension was not unwarranted. ...But to their surprise, the Sapras found Pakistan and its people hospitable instead of hostile. "People are so warm and friendly here," said Mr. Sapra, a management professional from Hyderabad, India, as he stood outside the cricket stadium here. "It has been an amazing experience."
>> NYTimes: At Cricket Matches, Indians and Pakistanis Cheer for Friendship

An email from Sai Nagesh, CEO of Indian company Mindshare, after his visit to Pakistan for the 1st One Day match:

Folks, this mail has nothing to do with work. Just wanted to share certain very overwhelming experiences. Had been to Karachi for the 1st One Dayer on Saturday.

1.. Imagine 39,990 Pakistanis & 50 of us Indians cheering lustily 'for' each other, throwing chocolates at us!! Quite a few were carrying the flags of both countries imaginatively stitched together. Then they all stood to give a standing ovation to the Indian cricket team!
2.. Guy on the street selling 'bhuttas' refused to accept money saying that we were 'mehmaan' in their country!!
3.. People rushing to shake our hands on the streets & asking us to come to their home for dinner
4.. Restaurant owners refusing to accept the bill payment after coming to know that we were from India
5.. Everybody we met & we met quite a few, had some relative staying in India.
6.. Star Plus is the most favourite channel in Karachi
7.. Shops gave us 40 to 50% discount ...........India again
8.. Taxis, autos, army guys......the list is endless.......everywhere loads of courtesy, respect.....more than we would get in our own country!!!!!

It is really sad that we have an impression of that country that is so negative (All those impressions were created by politicians!!!!). I shudder to think of the plight of Pakistanis who would come to India when the Indo-Pak matches will happen here. Sad, that we consider ourselves 'secular' & yet will spare no thought before making negative statements on that country. It's sad but true, this experience teaches one that......"Perception is not reality". Thank u for sparing your time. Have a lovely day.

More impressions of Pakistan:

As I watch the second test match currently being played between India and Pakistan in Lahore, I recall the city I experienced when I went for the 5th and final one day international (ODI) recently. We may have won the ODI series but the Pakistanis beat us hollow with their gracious manners and customs. Though my friends and I had gone there with a lot of trepidation, each one of us has come back as a self-appointed ambassador for the people of Pakistan.
>> The Financial Express: Wanderer In Lahore via pakistani perspective

India Pakistan Cricket Links

links to the the 2004 India Tour of Pakistan

20 Comments

The crowd really made Pakistan proud. It was a great match.

Indeed the cricket match at karachi was something that you dont see very often. similarly for the pindi match. The crowed has been magnificent on both occasions and have made whole Pakistan proud. The teams seem to be playing the game to its spirit. Bravo all

even though i have no interest in cricket i have to post my comments here. i am currently in singapore where i have a lot of indian friends. they are always over confident about the indian team's victory. so it came as a relief when Pakistan won 2 matches. its a big deal for them when Pakistan loses. so i thank God that our team is playing well and that i dont have to listen to what my friends have to say.

assalam-o-alaikum
i come 2 know about this site through spider magazine...good try...padticularly the way 2 describe cricket match b/w india n pakistan...i really like it.

pakistan has been a great team right from the past.this time it is comming back to its touch,going through rehabilitation.i want imran nazir to come back in the team .saqlain along with saeed anwar and if possible akram should be again considered for the team.
maindad should also use modern technologies to learn the job of a coach technically.and use it as a weapon against the opposite teams.best of luck for the pakistan.
kaffey.

the magnetic way of describing the exciting samsung series 2004 in this website is really cool & worth mentioning!!!!!!! good work!
well as far as the Pakistani team is concerned Shahid would have been given chance in the match at Karachi...it's his home ground.moreover i imran nazir should return.

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Hey guys,I don't know how many would believe me, but I could hardly read all the messages posted here- after reading just the first two, I was in tears! And now that I have some control over my emotions, I have to say this- both Indians and Pakistanis (I'm talking of common people) have been fooled into thinking that the people on the other side of the border are hostile, beligerent, and enemies. I had never imagines that cricket will show us all the real picture. And now I know how much we like each other. Bloody politicians!

I have seen it on TV and I've read all this on web sites, newspapers, and magazines, and it's all so heart-warming! For the first time I felt that it won't matter if we lose to Pakistan in the final test (that we didn't is a different issue). And now that series is over, we are not just celebrating our victory as much as we are celebrating the feeling of brotherhood and friendship that has been at pinnacle throughout the series! People coming back here after watching the cricket series are talking less of the victory, and more of the people in Pakistan, and the love they got there as 'brothers' from another counntry!

I must confess- we had a very bad notion of the people in Pakistan. May be even our brothers there had the same kind of wrong notion. And thanks to cricket- the doubts are fading away!

I wish I could get a chance to visit Pakistan!

-Maneesh, New Delhi.

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Pakistan cricket team is comparatively a weak team to Indian's but what makes it win is a hardwork and praying to Allah Almighty.

i m a pak cri fan(frm india) i need woolmer's email id 2 comment abt india's weak point in batting in the absence of akthar y cant u try 1st spell with razzak coz he has got good line & length. 2 take yuvaraj the key option is to bowl to middle stump so that u can make him lbw & y r u not trying yorkers
please call rana back to the pavilion. send afridi as opener to put pressure on bowlers.dont panic when indian batsman hits coz it will always creat pressure on d bowlers itself

pakistan is best i know deep down dat pakistan will beet any1 who cmes in der way
ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! remember it

india will beat this series. because india have very good batsmaens and bowlers

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just mail me

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i am ikram khattak i am student of comsat abbottabad . my coments is pakistan is good team but it show unity then it will success in every mach . and the most imporant thing is that they pray to almighty allah ok bye ,please read my coments and send me a message ok bye

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I am Ch. Iftikhar Ahmed was the big fan of the pakistan cricket team, but for many month the pakistan team progress is not seenable i don't know why but i think pakistant team need u improve their all categaries of game like fealding, bating, bowling, and i think need the opners batsman Imran Nazir he is the best opener and Hafez need to out, Asif is a great * but need a great coaching,

yes maaz khalid qureshi sir u r absoulitely correct ....but kia karen luck is luck ...

assalamu alaikkum!
i am from sri lanka. but, i am a pakistan cricket fan. i was so delight when i heard the news of drug ban lifted. may allah bles to both shoib & asif. jazakallah hai

salam
i m from KASHMIR indian one here every one from children to old people r pakistani fans n v all love to watch paksitan defeating india n especially on indian soil. also i m very happy that THE DRUG BAN HAS BEEN LIFTED FROM shoib & asif but nw WADA is upto shoib n asif......... these word r to WADA nw PLZ LEAVE THEM...

Great looking site so far!! I'm just starting to look around it but I love the title page! Would you please also visit my site?
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assalamualaikum ,iam frm india (hyderabad)but iam fan of pakistan cricket team,iam eagerly waiting for the world cup to be in the hands of our beloved pakistan team,plz who ever r the fan of pak team plz pray frm them to get world cup at this time.

thanks afiya,

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I LOVE PAKISTAN CRICET TEAM.I LIKE THEIRE PLAY.