|Pakistan flag by Alpak|
With quiet joy I am observing the proceedings in the Pakistan camp. A lot of things have changed for the Pakistanis in the last year, the heart of their bowling unit got ripped out of the team, followed by loud Cassandra calls regarding Pakistan's future reputation and bowling stocks.
The team has recovered from the blow in a remarkable fashion. Under the quiet and focused leadership of Misbah-ul-Haq, who leads the way he bats the way he looks the way he speaks, Pakistan have put in the hard yards, without any theatrical poses, hysterical screeches or the typical drunken monkey insanity. Misbah himself is thriving as a batsman and leading from the front, accompanied by hilarious because affectionate banter on the social networks. No glitz, no gloss, no disco. Just serious earthy cricket.
There is no such thing as a Posh Gul, Posh Hafeez or Posh Ajmal. The entire bowling section is unfancy and effective. Saeed Ajmal, to some extent, has stolen the hearts of the cricket lovers worldwide with his bubbling personality and wiggly looks; he embodies the image of the good funny chap who you wish to be around just because his mere presence does you a hell lot of good. The odd ten wicket haul raises the question why he was not picked earlier. Mea culpa as well, having been an avid Danish Kaneria supporter I feel guilty and ashamed for my blindness on the other eye.
Misbah's greatest feat however is that in no time he managed to banish the spotfixing aura from the Pakistan team. The trials and convictions have only taken place a few months ago, but when you look at how Pakistan are going about their business, all predictions about how they would carry stains and blemishes for years to come have been proven wrong. The decision to make a clear cut and, thus far, also keep the shady Jacket Boy Wahab Riaz, who for some reason did not get prosecuted, out of the game, must be applauded. His selection would send out a message to all players that if you quietly stay off the radar and keep your head down you can get away with murder.
So for the umpteenth time I am now expressing my hope, and that of many others, for a new age of Pakistan magic. And perhaps a bit of madness. But just a pinch ;)
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