On This Day: Pakistan complete a stunning turnaround
After 25 years of a 50-over global title drought, Pakistan pulled out the big guns against India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, to win the match, not only against all odds but in a fashion that could not have been any more native to Pakistani cricket.
Known for swinging between enigmatic and mediocre in small inconceivable periods of time, this is exactly how Pakistan went about pulling off a tournament win when nobody gave them a chance.
With nothing to lose, Sarfaraz Ahmed's cornered tigers, like Imran's, all the way from a quarter of a century back, fought as a unit to compensate for the lack of standout individual brilliance. On their way to clinching the much-yearned silverware, they had to face off three of the tournament's favorites and defying logic, defying expectations, defying the textbooks, they stuck to their own unique and unorthodox brand of cricket.
To see them go about their business in their typically peculiar yet consequently flamboyant fashion was a much refreshing sight in a day and age where sports are so much influenced by analysts and specialist coaches that apparently "increase performance efficiency" and ruin the career of Steve Finn without much regret.
While the win was an important statement from them to the cricketing world, instigated by Ian Chappell remarking earlier the year that Australia should stop inviting Pakistan, it also played a huge role in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.
On the first anniversary of one of the most important days in Pakistani cricket, we look back at their roller coaster of a ride in the 2017 Champions Trophy.