GeneralOn Being Conscious

On Being Conscious

[The heart monitor beeps. There is an uncharacteristic flurry of activity on the screen. The Patient on the bed flutters their eyes open. The lights are far too bright. They don’t know where they are or why they are on this hospital bed. They look around wearily and then suddenly smile dazedly at the ceiling, moving their arm in the cricket-umpire gesture for 4 runs.

Upon finding them awake, the nurse calls for the Doctor then looks down on the patient’s details. Found wearing a 2022-edition Thunder jersey, the patient slipped into a coma on 9th November 2022 and has remained unconscious since. Until now.

The nurse helps the patient sit up as the doctor hurries into the room.]

Doctor: We’re so happy to see you awa-

Patient: Did we… did we win?

D: Wi- win what?

P: The World Cup! We won the T20 World Cup, right? We’d just beaten New Zealand in the semi-final…

D: Is that the last thing you remember?

P: Yes. Shan hit the winning runs… I was so happy, I-

D: You passed out, yes. Well, we didn’t win the World Cup, sadly.

P: Oh no… how come?

D: Well, the batters couldn’t cross 150 in the final-

P: But we bowled well, right? Shaheen did his best, right?

D: He did! Until he got injured and had to be walked off.

P: Oh. But he was okay in time for the Test series, right? The one against England in December? I’m sure we had him for the home season.

D: We did not, as a matter of fact.

P: Oh. Did we win any of the Tests? There were some against New Zealand, too, right?

[The Doctor here wonders why this recently awakened patient remembers the Pakistan cricket team schedule from two years ago, despite having lost a chunk of their life to unconsciousness. The Doctor writes it off as cricket being the patient’s longest-running affliction.]

D: Oh, no. None.

P: But how is that possible? Did- did Babar stay captain?

D: Oh, yes. Through multiple series against New Zealand. Quite a few, actually. Except they discovered some incredible, powerful batters in the 2023 PSL. So they gave them some game-time in a series against Afghanistan. Shadab captained.

P: That’s great! I’m glad we started thinking less conservatively in T20s!

D: Yeeeeaahhh.

P: Wait, what year is it now? Did I miss the ODI World Cup?

D: Oh. Yes, you did. It’s 2024. You also missed Ramiz being ousted as chairman before that. Zaka Ashraf came in. The team had a total rebranding. Switched up the coaches, the managers. Came up with a new hashtag. Clean-swept Sri Lanka at home and then Afghanistan in ODIs, right before the Asia Cup. Naseem was incredible throughout.

P: [Beaming, clutching the sides of the hospital bed in excitement] Oh! Oh, that’s wonderful! Did we win at all? Both trophies? Surely at least one of them!

D: Well… we did start off well… Babar demolished Nepal. We bowled India out, but the game got washed out. Beat Bangladesh decisively.

P: [nodding encouragingly] And?

D: Well, then it happened.

P: What? What happened?

D: We had a game against India. We were bowling pretty badly, but the rain saved us. Luckily, there was a reserve day to help finish that match specifically.

P: That’s… odd. I’ve never heard of that happening before. Did we turn things around then?

D: Well, we conceded a couple of centuries. Haris had a strain, so he had to be walked off. Naseem tried his best, but he had fallen, clutching his shoulder in the Bangladesh game, so he had to be walked off. The batters completely crumbled, too. Just an all-round awful game.

P: I mean, okay. That’s just India, though, isn’t it? Surely, it was easier after that-

D: [Voice wavering as he speaks. He might even be crying] We were just… never the same. After that. We lost the semi-final on the last ball to Sri Lanka. We lost Naseem entirely for the World Cup.

P: [has started to feel a little sick again] O-okay but, the World Cup? That’s a new tournament, right? We had other bowlers, too, and the best batting in the world – surely, if we had to win a cup, this was it-

D: Ah, yes, the other bowlers. Well, Shaheen and Haris gave away, like, a thousand runs. We won the first few games, though, with a few hiccups. The bowlers conceded the most runs they ever had, but Rizwan had a brilliant century against Sri Lanka that saved us.

P: That’s good! So, we figured out our problems as we went along?

D: Well, no. We lost four games in a row. Including one to Afghanistan, for the first time. Brought one against South Africa really close but lost on an umpire’s call. Hell, towards the end, the bowlers ended up conceding 400 to New Zealand-

P: HOW many?

D: Oh, yeah. It was a runny World Cup. But it’s fine because it rained and we won that one. Group stage exit from the tournament, though.

P: That’s horrible! Who won?

D: Australia.

P: Well, that’s anti-climactic. Wait, didn’t we have a Test series against them?

D: Well, yes. But before that, Babar left captaincy. So Shan Masood took us to Australia. We lost all of them, of course, though we had our moments. We had them 16-4 at one point!

[He smiles fondly at the memory. The nurse tries to tell him that there’s a patient who needs CPR in the next room, but his head is entirely consumed by that dreamy morning in Melbourne]

P: Well, that sucks. And Shan Masood? Who became our white-ball captain?

D: Oh, they gave it to Shaheen. For one series against New Zealand, again. But we lost. And the chairman changed, so they sacked him after the PSL. Then Babar came back.

P: I’m starting to get a little nauseous. H-how did the PSL go?

D: Oh, it was great! They picked up some great batting options for the new World Cup. Islamabad won. Shadab was the player of the tournament. Imad and Amir came back from retirement-

P: [Beads of sweat forming on forehead] Imad and WHO?

D: Yes, yes. Though they did drop Haris, though, which was completely ridiculous

P: What? But he saved us in the last World Cup?

D: Yes, I still haven’t figured it out yet. Anyway, we played in Ireland and England to prepare.

P: Wait, did I miss another World Cup? How many are they doing these days?

D: I mean, it’s still going on-

P: [Some colour returning to face] Oh! That’s lovely! I hope we win this one to make up for the nonsense of the last two years-

D: Oh, we’re already out.

P: [Looks positively green in the face, rubbing their chest to try and calm down. The heart monitor appears suspiciously spikey] B-but how?!

D: Well, we lost to the USA to be on the other hand of the greatest upset in cricket history-

P: They have a cricket team?

D: -and then we couldn’t chase 120 against India and Naseem cried-

P: Please, stop-

D: -and we needed the Irish to save us but rain intervened and they didn’t even have a reserve day and the reserve day ruined everything, and we got poor Usman to stop playing for the UAE and he can’t even go back now-

P: I’m seeing two of you, Doctor-

D: -and we won the last few games, but it was too little, too late, and someone yelled at Haris Rauf on a street in America-

P: [hyperventilating, rivulets of sweat running down their face]

D: -and Umar Akmal wants to be selected again and Ahmed Shehzad is actually making sense on TV and we don’t have a middle order and everything is just, really, really bad and they say they’re going to perform a surgery on the team, as if a surgery is easy!

P: Is- is that all?

D: Oh and people on Twitter think Afridi is part of an apartheid state.

[Patient Has slipped into an entirely new coma. The Doctor is a heap on the floor, crying into his hands. The heart monitor is short-circuiting. Somewhere on the side, the nurse is trying to bring up the fact that he hadn’t even started on women’s cricket yet.]

The author

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, conse ctetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonum nibhie. Aenean sollici tudin, lorem auci elit consequat ipsutis sem niuis sed odio sit amet nibh vulputate cursus.


At Grassroots Cricket, we give paramount importance to feedback from our viewers. We value your opinions, and in case of suggestions or business inquiries, feel free to get in touch with us.

61-A Main Boulevard Gulberg, Lahore