GeneralThe Unofficial Pakistan Cricket Awards 2024 (so far)

The Unofficial Pakistan Cricket Awards 2024 (so far)

(Brought to you by the sponsors that opted out from sponsoring the Ireland Men vs Pakistan T20I series broadcast)

We’re at a pretty crucial time of the cricketing year – the IPL is starting to wind up after the better part of a century, a World Cup is coming up, and the Pakistan men’s team just got done with a bilateral series that should have been easier than it turned out to be. Before we move onto the more serious, juicy stuff that everyone’s waiting for, I think the things that have passed deserve a round of appreciation. So, without further ado:

1. For PCB, the ‘Doing The Most’ Certificate

Do we need a military-style training camp for a group of people who play a sport that, for around 50 percent of the time, requires you to stand in one place and wait for a ball to come at you? Probably not. And yet, we persist in these laborious efforts with unity, faith and discipline, to always give our all and be the best. We might give our all in the beating of a dead horse, but we will give it nonetheless.

2. For the Women’s Team, the ‘Had England at 11-4’ Medal

Much like the revered 16-4 at the MCG, there are some moments in cricket that are so unbelievable they transcend the boundaries of winning and losing. So while reducing the English team to 11-4 in Edgbaston may not have led us to an unprecedented victory, it (a) made me feel really, really good for about forty minutes when it happened, and (b) makes me feel really, really good every time I play back the highlights. And no one can take that away from me.

3. For the Men’s Team, the ‘Knows The Par Score’ Trophy

Because surely that has to count for something. If there is one thing we can do – (it’s not batting, or batting quickly, or attacking in the powerplay) – it’s knowing exactly what to do to bat as little as possible. I’m not sure if this is the type of calculative shrewdness we meant when we said that data needs to play a bigger role in cricket, but I’m sure it’s a start. This one is for everyone who grew up dedicating their lives to this team, only for the team to win the toss and choose to be 15-20 short.

4. For Ramiz Raja, the ‘Chose the Least Normal Thing to Say’ Award

Really, I thought he won it when he was commentating in a World Cup game and said, “So, will you view this at 108 balls to get 138 or as 18 overs to get 138?” but he has taken his own cake by complaining about the Irish broadcast for the Pakistani series. The reason he cited for being disappointed with the quality of coverage was that ‘Pakistan is not an African country.’ I will leave the implications of this statement for the readers to work out because, as I write this, it is too early in the day for me to start thinking about matters of these themes. Instead, I will applaud Mr. Raja’s geographical prowess – Pakistan isn’t an African country. It is in Asia. Apart from him, only Mr. Harsha Bhogle could have made a statement of such incisiveness.

5. For Pakistan Cricket Twitter, the ‘You are All Right, Please Go Home’ Consolation Prize

If you think our batting sucks, you’re right. If you think the batting is fine and the bowling is what never takes accountability, you’re right. If you think we should drop our entire side and replace them with AI-generated players who bat at an SR of 250 and also are good anchors and can also bowl off-break at will, you’re right. If you think the wicketkeeper should stand on his head and be able to catch the ball between his legs, you’re right. If you think what will save Pakistan cricket is your friend’s podcast, you are also right. Be as creative as you want in your opinions and digressions. Who cares? We’ll probably lose anyway.

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