It was a big day for Pakistan and a big day indeed for the cricket fraternity. Cricket in Pakistan rose from ashes. It was abandoned not only by players from other countries, but also by its own brethren. PCB found itself isolated being lashed by terrorism in the country. It was almost a dark age of Pakistan’s cricket after that attack on Sri Lanka team. Pakistan players fell into the vicious circle of demotivation. They turned into corruption and match fixing. After years of toil, PCB finally came up with Pakistan Super League, which was a success despite sheer skepticism and fear of terrorist attacks. Only international players who ‘dared’ terrorist menace visited the nation and half of them backed down the final fixture at Lahore. They managed one or two bi-laterals trying to put cricket on tract again.
But, history apart, Pakistan created a dominating impression in global cricket in the most dramatic way it could be. Being the eight team in ICC ODI chart, they won the ICC Champions Trophy, slogging teams like South Africa, England, and India. Guess what, they nicked the final match from India with a humongous 180 run victory and India is the team that did not lost a Test series since more than a year.
In the first faceoff this tournament, India defeated Pakistan by 124 runs. It was as if a final shake-up for Pakistan. The team made several changes. They brought in new bowlers and of course a debutant batsman Fakhar Zaman, who turned out as the prime match winning bet for the team. In their next campaign against South Africa, they were far from being the favorites being the last in the top eight ICC teams against the first in that list. There was lot to negativities against the team, but the result? Pakistan won against South Africa. It was the first milestone for the team in the tournament. Still, Pakistan was not the favorites for even the semifinals.
Pakistan’s win against Sri Lanka was the next smack on the face of skeptics. In the previous fixture, Sri Lanka defeated India. Pakistan cruised to the semifinals to fight against England. At this point, the favorites for final was England, India, or South Africa, but still not Pakistan. The team was just beyond believe and the spot seemed too much to expect from them. But, they did what is called ‘beyond expectation.’ Pakistan defeated England in the semis, the top favorite of the season. Pakistan enlisted themselves first in the final fixture. A worthy return for the team that toiled and faced those odd adversities.
India’s inroad to final was easy as only Bangladesh was on the way. India seemed to be an invincible team, even if, captain Virat Kohli acknowledged the fact that his team is “not invincible” after the Sri Lanka defeat. India’s formation could not have been better than this. The team had Ashwin and Kohli himself, who was promoted to Number 1 ICC batsman. However, the way Pakistan played the final, India’s endeavor turned into dust. The match was dramatic. The way Pakistan batted was incredible and the way they bowled was an ecstasy to watch for any cricket connoisseur. Pakistan won Champions Trophy 2017 by 180 runs against India.
The Champions Trophy 2017, is more than just a trophy for Pakistan. It is a record feat that will rejuvenate cricket in the nation. Now world can expect more world class cricketers from Pakistan as they produced earlier. With this accolade, more nations will open-up to play bilateral series with the team, which would be like breaking the cricket ceiling for PCB. May be, even Indian government could break diplomatic barriers and let BCCI to create a situation for bilateral cricket with Pakistan, which PCB is desperately longing for. The trophy was as if a need of hour for Pakistan. Without it, it would have been a difficult journey for the team, as it has been. With it, they proved their admirable worth in global cricket, which none can deny.
India and Pakistan ready to battle in Asia Cup
India lining up the bests for Asia Cup
India ready with new squad for Test series
Outstanding Root keeps Series at home thumping
India, England ready for ‘Pressure less’
Pakistan’s intense attack sets Zimbabwe on
Sri Lanka Captain, Manager and Coach suspended
India’s Wrist Spin ensemble to undergo big test
Nepal to play maiden ODI against Netherland in
India wraps up T20 Series against England winning
Shaw-Agarwal pair relieves India A with a strong
West Indies topples Bangladesh at 62 for 6 by end
ICC hardens Codes of Conduct; Ball Tempering will
Kemar Roach slogs Bangladesh to their lowest ever
Finch’s record knock hands greatest T20