Coming from the year of Misery to the year of blessings, its feels great; however, the journey was very long, tiring and painful. Starting with the time when Pakistan Cricket was destroyed over and over again by their own mistakes. Beginning with the Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan team which took away regular International Cricket from Pakistan for over 8 years. Following by the match fixing scandal involving three most talented and important members of the Pakistan cricket team leading to their ban for 5 years along with cloud of shame for the rest of Pakistan cricket team and the Pakistani Cricket Community. Fans were broke, cricketers were disappointed and the world was looking down upon the entire nation.
Then the struggle of Pakistan team started and they worked hard and stood united to rebuild the team and remained patient under the shadow and experience of Younis Khan, Misbah ul Haq and Shahid Afridi. Pakistan slipped from No.6 to No.9 in ODI Cricket, after the retirement of Misbah and Afridi in ODIs. Pakistan was hardly qualifying for Champions Trophy 2017 and everyone was discussing how Pakistan Cricket is dying just like Pakistan Hockey but then It was not far when Pakistan Cricket team under the captaincy of Misbah ul Haq went to England for the 4 match test series. They drew the series in England after almost 2 decades and climbed to the top of ICC Test Ranking after which Pakistan was crowned with the ICC Test Mace for the first time. In less than 12 months time, Pakistan travelled West Indies and won the first ever test series in West Indies which holds great importance because the two backbone of Pakistan Cricket retired with a memorable farewell.
After a historical test match ending in last ball of second last over of third session of day 5 of final test in West Indies, Pakistan travelled to England for the all important Champions Trophy 2017, where they were never supposed to qualify for semi finals according to all cricket experts and analysts but it was Pakistan who never looked back after a shameful defeat to India in the first game. All those youngsters transformed into heroes and superstars of Pakistan Cricket, the players who were ever unknown to Pakistani general audience became popular in hearts of all Pakistanis.
Coming to the most important and my favourite part, World XI agreed to visit Pakistan and visited Pakistan for 5 days during which they played 3 T20is which held great importance in the Cricket World as well as proved to be a blessing for Pakistan Cricket. The series went exceptionally well and attracted large amount of crowd and was followed by millions all over the globe. All the players who came to Pakistan were satisfied with the arrangements and security in Pakistan and wished to come back to Pakistan soon.
Now coming to why I want this exact day to stop forever because, I don’t want this golden year to go away, I don’t want to forget the win against India in Champions Trophy 2017 Final, I don’t want the perfect send off of Misbah and Younis to fade of so quickly and then I don’t want the World XI to leave Pakistan and forget the memorable series. All these events took place in a span of 6 months which is something one can dream off. Misbah and Afridi smiled while receiving standing ovation from the crowd of Lahore, these moment are hard to leave behind. Secondly, at this stage of time, not only I have a glorious memory of Pakistan Cricket in 2017 but I have hope! That hope is not guaranteed in future, anything can happen in coming days. Today, we all know Sri Lankan team will visit Pakistan for 1 T20I and then West Indian Team will tour Pakistan for 3 T20I series in November. PCB also assured that 8 matches of Pakistan Super League 2018 will take place in Pakistan. There are also expectations from Cricket South Africa that they will send their team to Pakistan for an international series next year. Well no one knows about tomorrow, it can be better than today or can be worse than today. I can’t handle this uncertainty and I want this time to stop and the dream to continue.
By a Patriotic Cricket Fan