Dear Waqar Bhai,
Happened to see you give expression to your peeve over Twitter. All I can say as an admirer of your aggressive bowling is that it was rather out of character. Unless my memory fails me, you were not exactly the kind who would sledge during your playing days. At least, you were not in the Shahid Afridi mould who loved a juicy altercation in the middle of the pitch. You didn’t need to either because you let the ball do the talking.
But now in your avatar as a retired cricketer, with no red cherry or white ball in hand, you are relying on the world of 280 characters. After India’s abysmal loss to England on Sunday, you have questioned the character of Virat Kohli and his band of boys.
You wrote : “It’s not what you are, what you do in life defines who you are, me not bothered if Pakistan gets to the semis or not but one thing is for sure. Sportsmanship of few champions got tested and they failed badly.”
Big, strong words Waqar bhai. As ripping as your bowling. Your power to express yourself has not dimmed a bit.
Of course, you are “bothered if Pakistan gets to the semis or not”. It is that anger, angst, grouse that India did not defeat England, do a Lagaan in real life, that is finding expression in your bitter tweet.
But sorry to say you are terribly off the mark. This would have been declared a wide in the World Cup for sure. India played badly against Morgan’s boys, it was poor cricket. But that does not translate to poor sportsmanship.
Poor sportsmanship is what many of your ex-colleagues like Basit Ali and Sikander Bakht have demonstrated. They insinuated that India would lose deliberately to keep Pakistan out of the semis. It only betrays their poor sense of cricketing knowledge and a belief that everyone in the world fixes cricket match results. Only a fool would prevent Pakistan from entering the semis, knowing fully well that they will be much more easily beatable compared to a professionally more competent bunch of Kiwis, Aussies or the English.
Two, with a 7/7 record against Pakistan in the World Cup, why would India let go of another mauka? India believes in a clean surgical strike, on the cricket pitch or off it. It does not need to lose deliberately to another country to keep Pakistan out by default.
Some of your country’s commentators have made it seem Pakistan is doing a favour by plumping for us. No bhai, you guys are not rooting for India, you are rooting for yourself. Because you know your ticket to the final four will pass through India’s Wagah border counter. It is selfish, self-centered support. Don’t make it seem like it is a big deal or a favour you are doing us. It is not as if you are returning Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to us.
Ideally, and as a proud Pakistan ex-captain you would agree, your team should not landed itself in such a spot that it has to depend on its arch rival to bail it out.
So keep firing your missiles at us. We in India are not strangers to these unwanted and unwarranted incursions. This unprovoked firing across the Twitter LoC will keep us entertained though as a well-wisher I would like to let you know it such negative sentiments can lead to acidity, unhappy burping and sometimes an untimely yawn !
An Indian cricket fan