It was World Cup of T20, 2007. Pakistan played India in the Finale. One last shot was decisive, but it didn’t work. Pakistan lost the match and the batsman was criticized and hated for his shot. Even then, I didn’t hate him. I couldn’t, and I don’t know why. Senior cricketers and cricket fans blamed him for Pakistan’s defeat and the clamor against him kept getting bigger and louder with time. Everyone thought Misbah-Ul-Haq doesn’t deserve to be in the team and he should retire from both T20 and One-Day formats of cricket, but I argued.
“Why should he?”
They said he is old. I said he is old yet fittest and better than the twenty-somethings in the team. They argued, he is not consistent. I believed, he is the most consistent player in the team because he always played a critical role in winning matches from Pakistan’s side. Here, I like to make an honest confession. I don’t know the game of cricket much. I just enjoy watching it. I understand and know the basics though, but despite of my little knowledge about the game and players, I kept supporting Misbah-Ul-Haq and opposing the famous Tuk Tuk theory in all those years. Hence, I fail to understand that why he received most of the opprobrium from cricket experts, senior players and die hard cricket fans who are the connoisseurs and enthusiasts of the game.
Not only that, we hurt Misbah-Ul-Haq so much over the years. We, now, owe him respect, praise, hails, celebration, salutes, world’s tightest hug and, maybe, pushups too. Now that he is about to lift the beautiful Test Mace, I feel so proud of him. However, it must have been very hard for him. “Never give up,” “keep going” and “have patience” are easier said than done. I am glad, I was there rooting for him when the wind blew against him.
Now that the tables have turned, being his consistent and sincerest fan, I want to extend my heartiest congratulations to Misbah-Ul-Haq and his beautiful family on achieving a milestone that Pakistan couldn’t achieve in last 28 years, and a million thanks to his mother for giving us such a brilliant star. Carry on, Misbah-Ul-Haq & please, don’t get retirement.