After the match against NZ, I had a very strong feeling that Pakistan would win the Twenty20 world cup. I went around telling everyone who cared that we were going to pull this one off. Why? Because we needed it. It was not about cricket, rather, it was about a nation that had been surrounded by difficulties from all sides, a nation that needed some good news.
When Afridi ran the winning run, I was surprised by my own reaction. I did not feel the euphoria that thousands of Lahorites felt; the overwhelming joy I had expected never arrived and a sadness took over me which was inexplicable.
I followed the match by devouring every article on cricinfo on the win, the feeling of sadness intensified. Then I called my friend, who like me is living away from Pakistan, and when I spoke to him I realized what had happened: we wanted to be there, wanted to share these moments with our fellow countrymen. We had suffered as much as they had back home. Every piece of bad news had been a blow and we had looked forward to this moment. This small piece of good news.
I wanted to watch the match on a crowded bazaar in Lahore. I wanted to cheer every fall of wicket when we were bowling and every run scored while chasing. I wanted to believe that like our team with no one willing to back it up, we too, as nation, would rise to face the challenges as a team, and pull through.
But I wanted to do all of this with thousands of others who felt the same way.
May Allah bring ease for the people of Pakistan.