Some of you will have watched the U19 final from the beginning to the end, and together with me you thus witnessed the most horrible display of New Zealandish taste of music one can think of. They had it all: "Iron Man", "Thunderstruck", "Radio Gaga", "Beat it", and of course...
... the inevitable "I come from Alandalanda" (© Markus Kavka), which we had to bear twice, since Australia won. I doubt that the responsibles wasted a single minute caring about the sanity of their guests.
To top this all off, the presentation ceremony was poorer than the one of the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa last year, if you know what I mean, because the hosts did not even regard the winners worthy of the obligatory glitter storm. Let alone white jackets. Or anything indicating that this event was of greater importance than the Southwest German School Cricket Championship of 1982.
However, a sparkling little highlight was provided by the wonderful Azeem Ghumman, who expressed his thankfulness to the selectors for giving him such a great team to work with. Oh the irony. He was absolutely right, the players showed inspiring performances in all departments of the game; bowling, batting, fielding, fire and spirit, and the watcher started to wonder in which section of the journey from teen cricketter to national player all these virtues get lost.
But it also touches the question why Pakistan is known for their frequent selection of teen players. Are the national teams dependent on their young heroes? Do those get bogged down after a while and fresh meat is needed? The kids walked out boldly, rightfully convinced they could win the World Championship final against these brawny yellow forces. Do the older guys need this infusion of enthusiasm every now and then?
I'm hardly familiar with the history of Pakistani cricket, so let me know what you think about it.