I have been a cricket lover throughout my life. In my school and college days, I used to play cricket for two to three hours in the evening. I used to watch every international match that PTV showed. I used to pray for Pakistan’s success.
I wanted Pakistan to defeat India in the semifinal, but I didn’t pray for our success this time. Why? Because I feel I have grown up. I am now 28. I don’t think Pakistan’s win would have made any difference to the millions of people who live in Pakistan. Yes, we would have celebrated for a while, but what after that? Could a world cup victory have fed those countless Pakistanis who sleep hungry? Could it have given clothes and home to those of my nation who remain homeless after the last year’s floods? Could it have ended corruption in our government departments? The answers to all these questions are obvious. Why then are we mourning the defeat against India as if we could have become a developed nation if the result had been otherwise?
My wife was angry with me when I told her I stopped myself from praying for the match. “You don’t love your country. You are unpatriotic,” she said. I admit I am not patriotic if patriotism means praying for a cricket match, forgetting all the evils that surround us. I have much else to do, excuse me.