Jun 22, 2009 - Shahid Afridi    22 Comments

Sunday in London, when Pakistanis win the T20 championship

Late last night, after watching an exhilarating T20 world cup final and a crazy facebook status update war, my friend Andrew in London – he is a Canadian by the way – started sending me live updates via text messages about how Pakistani fans have taken over St Johns Wood Road by the Lord’s, the amount of money Pakistani expatriates have with people draping hummers in Pakistani flags and white BMWs with a green Pakistan Zindabad slogan pasted on it. I told him it is all those curry houses owned by Pakistanis across Britain that are responsible for the riches of the desi Diaspora.

This is the email I later got from him, it would give you an idea how London goes nuts on Sundays, especially when Pakistanis win a major cricket tournament.

Dear All,

A crazy day here in London. I went to the demo at the Iranian Embassy for an hour or so in the late afternoon. Spoke to an Iranian guy for about 20 minutes about what has been going on. Lots of noise and emotion!!

Walked across Hyde Park and headed up towards Lords. Traffic was backed up so I guessed that the final of the 20-20 Cricket World Cup between Pakistan and Srti Lanka had ended. Lots of crazy happy Pakistan fans were running around making noise. A few were drunk as well. Then a group of Sri Lankan Tamils came by in an anti-Sri Lanka protest. “Sri Lanka, terrorist!” You get the idea.

I walked around Lords after a bit and came upon the Western gate where the team buses were to come out. A crowd of a few hundred Pak fans had gathered. They had the largest flag of Pakistan I had ever seen. It must have been 30 feet long and 15 to 20 feet wide. Lots of Anglo-Pakistanis too so the chants were football like: “Are you watching India?!” “Green Army!” “Afridi (the team’s star player)!”

Someone had a sign that read: “I got my ticket from an Indian.”

After being in Sri Lanka when they won the World Cup in 1996 and following things since then, it is clear that Mike Marquese was right to call his book about the World Cup “War Minus the Shooting”.

Great fun!!!

Cheers

Andrew


PS:
President Zardari has announced cash award for the team Pakistan and for the first time, I am ok with him spending our tax money like his personal treasure chest. Go Green Army, you made us proud. To quote a blogging buddy, you guys have gone from cricket chumps to T20 Champs.

PPS:
Now that Younus Khan has announced his retirement from the shortest form of cricket, would we see Afridi as the new T20 captain?

PPPS: Younus Khan finally revealed his true age. According to cricinfo, he is still 31, but in a post match interview, he said he is 34 and too old to play T20.

PPPPS: Has anyone noticed, this is Intekhab Alam’s second world cup as a coach (the first was in 1992), is he our lucky mascot?

The last photo was added because I just wanted Afridi to be part of this post

Disclaimer: The post does not mean to hurt any Indian reader, I just reproduced Andrew’s email.

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22 Comments

  • the last photo is perfect!

  • hah, it really is! πŸ™‚

    it’s also what everyone on main blvd chowk was doing last night πŸ˜€ we were literally stuck on a 10 metre stretch for about 15 minutes!

    and so glad nothing happened shaggy-wise… i think Pakistan really really needed this! people were just so insanely happy last night. my own celebrations consisted of finishing memento, staying up late and reading match articles on cricinfo. yay! πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

  • yeah…good one..

  • We were so desparate 4 a good news…..

    Proud of r team;-)

  • Actually, most Indians I know were supporting Pakistan. I, personally was supporting Sri Lanka, because I know that they really need something to hold the country together.

  • Yes St. Johns Wood was crazy..had lots of fun .. it was amazing, felt like being in Pak

  • Actually most of the curry houses in the UK are owned by Bengali’s and not P’stani’s.

  • sumera,

    I think you got it a little bit mixed up, most of the cooks are Bengali but the restaurant owners are Pakistani. I interviewed Sher Khan of Sher Khan franchise in Manchester around 2004. The man is from Gujjar Khan (I think) and lives in frickin’ mansion.

  • don’t worry, no Indians are hurt….rather simply amused to know even in their very own moment of glory, Pakistanis need Indian validation :):)

  • I’m not much into cricket but it was amusing to see my facebook homepage come alive with ecstatic status updates from every single Pakistani on my list!

    My mom said to me today, everybody around has been so depressed of late, the match victory was like a tonic for them. On the other hand, she also told me three-four people died due to air shooting during the celebrations. Sigh.

  • Such an exciting day..I didn’t watch the entire match but enough to absorb all the excitement.
    Facebook status and twitter just got crazy with all the status updates! so true

  • With India out,Pakistan winning was personally perhaps the most meaningful result of the crazy game that T-20 is.It never was good to see Pakistani cricket in shambles.The excitement of sport lies in competitiveness..with pakistan resurgent,cricket will be benefited.

  • Yes we can win,AlhumduAllah !!

  • I agree with Anonymous’s comments of being amused at the need of bringing in India in every Pakistani glory :). Frankly, in my generation I would like Pakistan to do well too and cricket is no longer war for us. A progressive Pakistan is good for India much more than any other country!

  • STAND UP STAND UP FOR THE CHAAAMPIONS STAND UP!!

  • Intikab Alam, the humpty-dumpty of Pakistan looks the same as he looked in 1992, 15 year back.

  • i am an indian.. i would have loved an indian pak final…

    this time it was pakistan’s worldcup..

    and loved afridi’s heroics in the last two games.. he indeed peaked at the right moment..

    it is indeed good to see the nation rise up back from the ashes..

    kudos to the pak green team.. all the very best in the forthcoming matches.. hope cricket gets better and ties between our two nations get better..

    let peace prevail..

    cheers..

  • he he, yeah a lot of Indians would have a banner saying, I sold my ticket to a Pakistani! Shows how much a Indo-Pak final was missed by both people πŸ˜€

    All is well in some good spirit πŸ™‚ and especially when you’ve won the world cup!!!

    Btw, do you have a place to keep the cup or will it be blown away by a sucide bomber? πŸ˜›

    *Again in Good humour please*

  • lovely post πŸ™‚
    and yea, for once even I dont mind my hard-earned money being spent by the government. Looking forward to who becomes the new captain…is gonna be afridi most probably.
    Havent we all fallen in love with afridi all over again? πŸ˜€

  • Hey tazeen,
    Congrats for your teams wonderful performance. It has brought the much need joy to millions of pakistanis around the world. The best thing is that Great Warlord has finally justified his talents and for once chosen to use his upper chamber which could prove to be game changer for pakistan cricket team.

    On another note i am desperately waiting for your post on the KING OF POP.

    Regards
    Yogesh (Banglore, India)

  • It was awesome win and simply brought much needed smile after war and all that stuff going on around. I hope they keep performing just like this.

  • we have won so what. we used to do it often. anyway the nation needed a break and got one.

    but what’s with the disclaimer? why be a kiss-ass? you don’t have to appease to blog, right? or you are like those pakistanis who don’t know any better to call and write themselves as pakis and wonder why they don’t get any respect!

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