A cricket fan is not just a cricket fan in the contemporary world. He is divided into an array of categories ranging from the Test cricket lover to the Indian Premier League (IPL) enthusiast and each one is ready to debate for hours at times about the merits and demerits of any format, team, or player you ask them about. Alas, when the time for World Cup arrives, the categories diminish, the debates turn much more personal and patriotism reaches unprecedented levels. The emotional attachment with the World Cup is simply unlike that of any other trophy since it is not merely a prize, it is a symbol of national dignity and unmatched glory.
Imagine how a Pakistani cricket fan would feel if someone were to compare the Asia Cup claimed recently by Misbahul Haq-led Pakistan to that glorious World Cup won by the Imran Khan-inspired ‘cornered tigers’ in 1992. Simply no comparison! And if the person were to be a member of the same team that the nation regards as a symbol of pride? Heartbroken! Consider then the sheer degree of disappointment that raged through the soul of a true Pakistani fan when our very own Wasim Akram in a brief TV chat compared his emotions for the recent victory of Kolkata Knight Riders, a team he is associated with, in the IPL to those for Pakistan’s splendid triumph in 1992, where Wasim himself was one of the architects of the party. Over the past few years, however, times have indeed changed, the game is no longer governed by passion for the sport and after Wasim’s unexpected comment over the KKR win it seems national duty and honour are fighting a battle for survival.