Cricket is no less than a religion for the people of Pakistan. It is the sport which creates magical unity in its people and ignites a sense of patriotism which no other sport or event ever can. Although hockey is the national sport of Pakistan, Cricket continues to be the most loved and popular sport. The members of the Pakistan cricket team are seen as heroes by their fans and people love them more than they love any politician or leader.
The Pakistan cricket team has played 364 test matches of which 113 they have won, 152 were drawn while they lost 100 matches. In the One Day International Arena Pakistan has made 760 outings out of which in 411 matches Pakistan has been victorious while in 327 matches they have ended up on the losing side.
The biggest achievement ever for the Pakistan Cricket Team has been the successful World Cup Campaign of 1992 in which Pakistan became the World Champions for the first time in the history of International Cricket. The team led by Imran Khan was able to make an almost impossible come back in the tournament and went all the way through to winning the World Cup. The next major achievement for the Pakistan Cricket team has been in the shorter version of the game T20 cricket. After losing a close final to India in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, Pakistan cricket team led by star batsman Younis Khan was able to win the second edition of the tournament in 2009 in which they beat Srilanka in a one sided final.
The Pakistan cricket team has produced legends like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad, Inzimam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar and many more. They have served Pakistan Cricket for years and have been able to gain recognition for their achievements throughout the world. Although the Pakistan Cricket Team has produced stars, there has always been some sort of controversies attached to the team since Pakistan’s birth in International cricket. They have been accused from the smallest of sins such as ball tampering to the biggest of crimes like match-fixing. However the most shameful incident for Pakistan Cricket has been the spot fixing controvery of 2010 in which Pakistan’s three star players Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir were exposed by a British newspaper’s sting operation and they were later proven guilty. The severity of the matter was such that all three of them were sentenced to imprisonment in England for varying periods of time.
Despite the incident the Pakistan Cricket team has shown some character and has been able to overcome the pressure to succeed in the international arena. Pakistan cricket team was able to qualify for the 2011 World Cup Semi Final regardless of the fact that the incident of spot fixing was relatively fresh. 2011 has been a tremendous year for Pakistan Cricket as they have found some stability and consistency under the calm leadership of Misbah ul Haq.
There is no doubt that the Pakistan cricket team has always comprised of a bunch of special and talented players but at the same time they have let themselves down in front of their nation because of matters such as spot fixing. It is time that the team realizes the importance the game holds for the country and try to maintain the integrity of the game and the nation’s pride.