Not many achieve what they have dreamed, but Sarfaraz Ahmed has showed the world that you can achieve anything if you work hard with dedication & honesty. As both captains getting their troops ready for what would be the biggest day in cricketing fraternity in past ten years or may be in coming years too. A grand finale would be taking place between the arch rivals Pakistan & India in a country from where the game was originated in 16th century.
Let’s get back to the old days when all this get started for Pakistan’s current skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. It was 2006 when a young boy was asked to lead Pakistan cricket team in under 19 world cup. He led with so much authority that his team reached the finals of the world cup. With young troop Sarfaraz Ahmed had to meet arch rivals India in final to achieve the glory. It was a tense match and Pakistan was defending a total of 109 runs in a rain hit match, but Pakistan Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed managed to achieve his first feather and beat India to clinch the first title.
Interestingly Sarafarz Ahmed will be aided by presence of his team mate Imad Wasim who was also in that under 19 side who beat India. Imad Wasim succeeded Sarfaraz Ahmed in next edition of under 19 world cup. Many players from these two editions of (2006 & 2008) under 19 world cup will be present tomorrow in a big encounter. India’s current captain Virat Kohli, led India to victory in 2008 edition of Under 19 world cup with Ravindra Jadeja was named his deputy in that edition of world cup, Rohit Sharma was also part of the side which lost to Pakistan in 2006. For Pakistan other than captain Sarfaraz Ahmed & Imad Wasim, left arm duo of Juniad Khan & Mohmmad Amir was also part of Pakistan under 19 squad led by Imad Wasim in 2008.
When it’s a game between Pakistan and India it will become more than just a game. Both the countries where cricket is treated as a second religion. Expectations, emotions, tears & laugh’s all gets attached to this rivalry.
Now if we look from where Pakistan started this tournament. Side which was written off even before the tournament, ranked 8th in ICC ODI rankings and just able to qualify to play the tournament by moving ahead of the West Indies in points at last moments.
Resurgence of the team which was looking out of sorts even in the first match of the tournament took place under captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed. The amount of energy, passion & dedication we are witnessing in Sarfaraz Ahmed was not evident in players who led Pakistan in recent past. Individual players whose performances are not binding together, was molded in a unit who squeezed through the skins of World # 1 side South Africa & Sri lanka to qualify for the semi finals & tormented the hosts England who remained unbeaten till they meet the Pakistan’s young team in semi finals.
For a team with no home advantage during last 8 years or so, no super star in the team to lead them in limited overs cricket, loosing young & talented cricketers to spot fixing. What Pakistan has achieved so far in the tournament is widely hailed by the experts around the world, performance of youngsters, fighting skipper & improved fielding efforts all these ingredients were missing in the Pakistan side lately.
But Srafaraz Ahmed captaincy has provided nation a chance to believe in their cricket again. A team which was losing his fan base even in their home country will now be battling it out in the final fort to become the new Champions of cricket.
What the nation wants, they want a fighting Pakistan team, a team which will not bow down against the opponents till the final ball of the match being bowled. A team who’s every effort was filled with love & passion for the nation. Winning or losing aside, the journey we have traveled since the tournament started is showing some light at the end of tunnel for Pakistan.
Wishing Pakistan team a brighter, prosperous and successful future ahead.