The Impact of Cricket on Pakistan; after winning the Champions Trophy

Pakistan

Cricket has been a part of Pakistan since before there even was a Pakistan.

The first game was played in 1935 between the Sindh and Australian cricket teams and watched by thousands in Karachi, but the country itself wouldn’t be born until 1947.

Once the country was born, the game developed rapidly and they acquired Test Match status in just 5 years (albeit with the recommendation of the Indian team). From there they went on to achieve some astounding results, having the first occurrence in test history where all five matches in a series were a draw in 1955.

The influence of cricket on Pakistan was vast, becoming the national sport in short order and with a reputation developing of being a strong side.

This culminated in the 1986 Austral-Asia cup with a game straight out of a movie. India were their opponents in the match but the team went in expecting to lose, but hoping to do so with dignity.

At the very last ball, they managed to sneak the win thanks to Javed Miandad hitting a six. Winning the cup here, and against their rivals India, was an amazing feat and Miandad was soon catapulted into fame, becoming a national hero in Pakistan.

There’d be two more Austral-Asia cup contests, both won by Pakistan, but nothing has ever really come close to that first win against India.

It wasn’t until 1992 that Pakistan won the World Cup and, much like the 1986 Austral-Asia cup, the result was a surprise.

In the semi-final against New Zealand, a formerly unknown batsman, Inzamam-ul-Haq exploded onto the international scene.

The only known batsman on the team was Miandad so the great performance from Inzamam-ul-Haq was a surprise turnabout that went on to help them win the final too and secure the cup. Nothing helps boost a national sport like winning the world cup and Cricket became even more beloved in the country.

Sadly, things haven’t been so rosy in recent years. In 2007, they lost to Ireland in a surprise upset and the very next day their coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in what is still considered an open case and potentially a murder.

That wasn’t the worst thing to happen that decade though, in 2009 the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team had their bus attacked by terrorists with six members of the team injured and six Pakistani policemen killed.

This sent a message to the world that Pakistan is a dangerous place to go and play cricket and, despite the efforts of a few countries (including Sri Lanka), Pakistan lost World Cup hosting status and foreign teams stopped playing games in Pakistan.

For the last few years Pakistan’s cricket has been seen as on the decline because of the lack of foreign play coming to the country but with this new victory, it’s hoped that the national interest will be revived and that international play will return to the country.

In the words of Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s coach: “I’m sure that the nation of Pakistan is really happy tonight – they deserve it.

“You talk about our players not playing at home but also the fans not identifying with heroes because they just don’t see international cricket. That’s massive. So let’s hope that this really kick-starts that momentum in Pakistan again.”

And with their star rising again, now might be a good time to think about putting some money down at Betfair Cricket betting.

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