An eerie silence descended on Pakistan’s biggest city today after its national cricket team was annihilated in the much-hyped up World Cup game against India in Adelaide.
Dubbed as ‘war without the guns’ the passionate Pakistani cricket community including former players, pundits, critics and fans were left disappointed and dejected after watching Misbah-ul-Haq and his men fail to stop the Indian juggernaut against them in World Cup.
Since the wee hours there was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation for the match here as boys and girls dressed in the traditional green shirts went around blaring horns and playing songs before finally getting down to watch the live action.
Big screens were installed at closed and open spaces as fans converged to watch the match.
In the distance one could hear horns blaring and at times even celebratory gunfire during the match when Pakistan did well.
But these times were few and at the end of the match it was the same old story for the fans.
“Now we have to wait for another four years to try to end this jinx. Yaar what is this team... didn’t they realise the importance of the occasion. Look at how Dhoni and his players remained focused,” an irate cricket fan Sabrina said in the upmarket Clifton area.
There was a grudging admiration for Virat Kohli in the cricket discussions taking place at pan shops, coffee outlets and tea stalls as the roads which were supposed to be filled with fans celebrating remained deserted even after the match.
“It is really disappointing at how the team let us down today. You wait for a long time for this match and I just feel so bad for the fans who prayed for success,” Pakistan’s former opener Mohsin Khan said.
Not surprisingly angry cricket fans vented their anger on social networking sites with Ahmed Shehzad, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal the target of most digs.
Fans wasted no time in highlighting the mistakes committed by Pakistan in the match including Kohli’s dropped catch by Akmal.
There was though no violence reported from any part of the city.
The reason for this could be that today’s match was the first for both teams in this World Cup.
These feelings were echoed by Baba Gulzar who runs a popular video outlet in Clifton. “Chalo abhi World Cup baqi hai and if we play well we can still beat India in the semi-finals or final,” an ever optimistic Baba said. More PTI Cor AH