The Real Hero of Test Cricket

Real Hero of Test Cricket

This wide angle picture was published in The Nation newspaper on July 18, 2016.  The picture shows the Pakistan cricket team in their winning moments after they won their first test match at Lords, London during their recent tour to England.

My View Of The Picture:

I agree that the world knows very little about the game of cricket and the only reason for this is its duration. Can you believe that it takes five (5) days to complete a test match? My goodness! I added this “goodness” for those who don’t know about cricket and its format 🙂 .

The known history of cricket is almost 500 years. The first official test match was played between Australia and England in the year 1886. Even after so many years only ten (10) nations have gotten the status of test playing country. Again MY GOODNESS! 🙂 .  Yes the stats do deserve your goodness. And for the final goodness I would like to add that even after 5 days of test cricket it is not evident that you can get a result because and it can be considered as a draw 🙂 .

A very interesting myth was created based on the long duration of the test match and still having a chance of no result. It was that Adolf Hitler, after watching a test match between a German team and another team that ended in a draw, ordered that all the cricket team players be killed and imposed a complete ban on cricket. But after researching it, I confirmed indeed it was a myth. Might have been spread by some haters of Hitler as it’s easy to blame a person who has already been blamed for many incidents frequently through Hollywood and by many writings which he himself didn’t even know at all. I sometimes thought that if Hitler got a chance to be alive again and know how much propaganda has been made against him after his death then he might say “Really! This is all done by me alone. Oh my Goodness!”

Ok, I am popping the balloons of Goodness and moving on 🙂 . So out of only ten, seven nations are very famous as they are or were top teams in the last 150 years or so. These are England, Australia, India, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Many great players were produced by all the above-mentioned nations. Starting from WG Grace (England) to Sir Donald Bradman (Aus) then Sir Vivian Richards (WI) and from Imran Khan (PAK) to Brain Lara (WI) and Sachin Tandulkar (IND). I cannot name all the players here, though there are numbers of great players from all the test nation countries who deserve to be called ‘Great’.

A little about cricket.  There are three formats; first one is a Test (for 5 days), One Day (for a day) and T20 (almost 3 hrs match). Test cricket is the core and a real test of a player to prove how much he is mentally and physically strong, tough and gutsy. Among the many traits, the three most important for a cricketer are that he should be a gentleman, decent and modest. Unfortunately, these characteristics are extremely lacking now due to too much involvement of money and glamour. In modern cricket, though cricketers having said traits are fewer, they have not vanished completely. It is just really hard to find them.

But cricket followers will agree with me, irrespective of which country they belong to, that there is one person named Misbah-ul-Haq, the Captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team, in which you can find all the traits I mentioned above. The reason to write this article is to express my gratitude for Misbah-ul-Haq.

I would not say that Misbha is a great cricketer but I would like to label him a great sports person because no doubt there is a long list of cricket legends in which he might fit in some lower ranks. He is now 42 years old which is considered to be an old age in cricket, but believe me he is like a stallion. He is fit, he is mature, he is a professional and at the top of it he is a modest person. You will never see him boasting or bragging, especially in public.

Media criticize him madly because of his few flop shows in some matches. But he showed real strength and faced all the criticism, the stupid ones, and took team Pakistan to #1 ranking among test nations after many years. I have seen him replying to his critics with his performance. That’s his professional approach that I like. I know that nowadays cricket has become very fast and commercial and that’s why the true sense of cricket is fading badly. But he even silenced those who called him “tuk tuk”, meaning slower one, by smashing a beautiful century in only 56 balls equaling the record of the fastest century in a test match made by the great Viv Richards, though this record was broken after one year by Brandon McCullum of New Zealand in 54 balls. It is Mishba’s control of the pace of the game when he decides to stay on the pitch and is able to bring other teams on their toes from his Tuk Tuk performance.

In the picture the team is in an assembly formation and saluting the Pakistan Army as the army helped the team in their training in the Army Academy before the start of the England tour. Though the series of four matches was a draw, two matches apiece, with no tie-breaking match 🙂 , it was a great fight from both Pakistan and England. Pakistan won the first match and England came back strong by winning the second and third. However, Pakistan finally won the fourth one convincingly. The team is saluting the Pak Army for their training and the whole nation salutes Misbah for his character along with the efforts of other team members to take Pakistan to #1 position.

So, I wrote this article to share my thoughts about such a person who came late into cricket, earned many records under his belt in a short span of time and proved to the world that he is a true sportsman, professional player and decent personality with full command of how to control the momentum of the game. He also proved that whether it’s inside or outside the playing field he doesn’t like to become famous by using the crutches of being a controversial or a hot headed type of person.

Though I am writing about him only as the person we’ve seen up to now. I have seen what I described above. Of course he is a human and I don’t know him personally so if he acts contrary to what he has acted to now then add an exception clause to my article while reading it again 🙂 .

Also, I am not a paid journalist.  I am really his fan not just because he is famous but also because he is a real fighter and I have learnt some lessons from him 🙂 .


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8 Comments on The Real Hero of Test Cricket

  1. The idea of ‘saluting’ can be objected to (you know all that debate of martial laws, coups de tat, democracy, etc.)

    However, oh ya, Misbah is a gentle sportsman.

    • 🙂 Today in newspaper some senetor in Pakistan also objected this action. I think they are just saying thanks to Army for helping them in training.

  2. Good old cricket. Ah the times when we used to have Real Cricket played here in Pakistan. Test matches, one days, our crowds our soil. May Allah return to us the good times.

    • Thanks 🙂 my sympathies are with Hitler as he was I think not that much worse as the world over portrayed by western media.

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