15 reasons why Pakistan can win the World Cup and none of them include the 1992 WC win
Every Pakistani fan out there is desperate to grasp on to some sign with a similarity to 1992 and dream about Pakistan lifting the ICC World Cup once again. In reality the similarity between the World Cup in 1992 and the one about to start in 2015 ends with the fact that both tournaments had the same host nations, Australia and New Zealand.
But for the overzealous and ever optimistic Pakistani fans, the similarities only begin with that fact.
There is so much desperate hope among the fans that even the sad news of Junaid Khan missing out due to injury was met with optimism with fans referring to 1992 when Waqar Younis was ruled out on the eve of the World Cup due to injury.
1992: Strike bowler injured and ruled out, yet Pakistan won. 2015: Strike bowler injured and ruled out, so Pakistan must win.
The references to the 1992 World Cup don't end there.
- A-40-year old Niazi from Mianwali captained Pakistan in his last World cup in 1992. A 40-year-old Niazi from Mianwali is captaining Pakistan in his last World Cup in 2015. (Anyone thought about the fact that one of them is the greatest cricketer ever produced by the country?)
- Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1992. Nawaz Sharif is the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2015. (Does it matter that he was useless then and he is useless now?)
- Pakistan wore bright green jerseys in 1992. Pakistan are wearing bright green jerseys in 2015. (You know, they wore bright green jerseys in 1999 too; remember what happened then?)
- Pakistan's squad had two leg spinners in 1992. Pakistan's squad has two leg spinners in 2015. (And I am also a leg spinner; so?)
- Moin Khan was there in 1992. Moin Khan is there in 2015. (There's some difference between what one can do on the field and off it, isn't there?)
- Javed Miandad was not part of the initial plans for 1992. Younis Khan was not part of the initial plans for 2015. (And what about the fact that one is arguably the best batsman produced by the country while the other is a mediocre ODI player at best?)
- Pakistan had a left handed batsman named Sohail who bowled handy left arm spin in 1992. Pakistan have a left handed batsman named Sohail who bowls handy left arm spin in 2015. (Hey wait a second... we have a fast bowler named Sohail as well this time!)
- Pakistan's pace attack was led by a left arm fast bowler in 1992. Pakistan's pace attack is led by a left arm fast bowler in 2015. (Do you not know that we have a left arm fast bowler named Wahab Riaz as well?)
- Pakistan had a relatively new hard hitting batsman from Multan in 1992. Pakistan have a relatively new hard hitting batsman from Multan in 2015. (I guess it counts for little that Imran Khan had full faith in Inzamam's abilities and that Misbah doesn't even think that Sohaib warrants a place in the starting XI.)
- Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital was under construction in Lahore in 1992. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital is under construction in Peshawar in 2015. (It probably doesn't matter that the man behind building the hospital was also the man behind Pakistan winning the World Cup in 1992.)
Can someone please wake the Pakistan fans up from their 23-year old slumber and knock some sense into them and bring them back to reality that is 2015. We are not in 1992 people, we do not have the Javed Miandads, Inzamams, or Wasim Akrams in the team, and we are not being led by the greatest captain the country has had in its entire cricket history.
We are in 2015, where Pakistan is a below average ODI team, which has not won an ODI series all season. We are in 2015, where Pakistan is the number 7 ranked ODI team in the world; their lowest ranking ever in the history of the game.
I'm not saying that Pakistan cannot win the World Cup. The format is such that they can. A quarter-final entry is all but guaranteed for the top 8 ranked teams and from thereon it is anybody's game. So Pakistan is definitely in with a chance. But it is definitely not because there are so many similarities with 1992.
If Pakistan do go all the way and win the title once again, it will be due to a number of other reasons:
- It will be because it will be the ultimate achievement for a captain that took Pakistan out of the scary depths it had emerged into in 2010.
- It will be because Misbah will play more than one match saving innings and guide Pakistan home from dire situations.
- It will be because Shahid Afridi is having one of his most consistent streaks with the bat; he has scored 272 runs in his last 6 ODI innings at an average of 45.33! That is almost double his career average.
- It will be because it will be the cherry on top of the cake that is Shahid Afridi's glorious career. It will be because Shahid Afridi will single handedly win at least a couple of games for Pakistan.
- It will be because of all the effort Mohammad Hafeez has put into building this team along with Misbah and Afridi over the past 5 years. It will be because Hafeez has been Pakistan's most consistent opener since Saeed Anwar. It will be because Mohammad Hafeez will happily bash the minnows and take that form with him into the knockouts.
- It will be because Ahmed Shehzad will continue on from where he left off in 2014, which was by far his best year in international cricket. It will be because Ahmed Shehzad will deliver what he was expected to deliver in 2011.
- It will be because it will mean redemption for Younis Khan who was so desperate to play this World Cup. It will be because Younis Khan will live up to his word of emulating Javed Miandad. It will be because Younis Khan will play at least one crucial match winning knock for Pakistan.
- It will be because Umar Akmal will finally shut the critics up once and for all and show the world that he can transform his talent into match-winning knocks for Pakistan.
- It will be because Haris Sohail will put in a few brilliant all-round performances and make sure that Pakistan doesn't miss Hafeez the bowler.
- It will be because Sohaib Maqsood will perfectly script a chase or two for Pakistan.
- It will be because Sarfraz Ahmed will play some audacious strokes and take a few games away for Pakistan.
- It will be because batsmen from other teams will have no answer to Mohammad Irfan.
- It will be because Yasir Shah will spin a web around batsmen.
- It will be because Sohail Khan, Ehsan Adil, and Wahab Riaz will find the perfect rhythm in favorable conditions.
- It will be because Pakistan will play like a united team on a mission to provide the perfect send off to its senior players.
So yes, we can win it again. We can be champions again. But it’s not because of the "similarities" with 1992. Its because we have the players who can rise to the occasion and bring out their best to once again bring glory for Pakistan!