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Just a few days ago, 25th March marked the 22nd anniversary of one of the happiest days for the nation – the enthralling victory in the cricket world cup 1992.

Those were different days; simple and sluggish, yet pure and beautiful. There were only two television channels; PTV and STN. One had to wrestle with the antenna to get clearer transmission. Similarly, one had to live with the news’ bulletins during the matches. There were no quick means of communication, like internet or cell phones. Those days had less mechanical, but more real life interactions. Instead of updating Facebook statuses or tweets, people used to meet with each other. Life was more real than that of today.

In such days, cricket’s 5th world cup approached with much allurement. For the first time, white ball was introduced. Traditional white uniform was replaced by coloured clothing with player’s name written on the back and country’s name on the front. First 15 overs’ field restriction was imposed and flood light matches were scheduled for the first time in world cup history.

World cup 1992 - Group Photo

Pakistani team joined the mega event in uncertain circumstances. The biggest setback came with the injury of Waqar Younis, who had to miss the event. Javed Mianded was initially dropped, but probably the public pressure forced the selectors to change their mind. Imran Khan, the skipper, was struggling against his shoulder injury. Most of the players in the 15 member squad were inexperienced and had the least exposure to the international cricket, let alone playing experience on the fast tracks of Australia or New Zealand. For instance, the opening fast bowler Aaqib Javed was not even 20, the wicketkeeper Moin Khan was just under 21, Zahid Fazal was under 19, Inzamam and Mushtaq Ahmed were hardly 22. Iqbal Sikandar and Waseem Haider were like guest players, who began their one day career in the world cup and were never seen again in the team. Saleem Malik was not only terribly out of form, but also out of mood, probably due to dressing room politics or god knows what?

Pakistan team had a most dismal start in the tournament. The team managed to win only one game in first 5 matches. Here’s how things went;

Pakistan played its first match against West Indies. The captain, Imran Khan, couldn’t play due to his injury. Despite scoring 220, which was a reasonable total in those days, Pakistan lost by 10 wickets.

The second match was against Zimbabwe – the weakest opposition of the tournament. Greens convincingly won by 53 runs.

The third match brought heartbreak for the nation. Pakistan batting line fell like autumn leaves and finished on embarrassing 74 in 40 overs. But strange are the ways of god that rain not only rescued the team from a worst defeat but also blessed us with one bonus point. That miracle point later helped us reaching in the semi final.

The fourth match was against India, the traditional rivals. Pakistan failed to chase the humble target of 217 runs and got all out on 173, besides having 88 runs 3rd wicket partnership between Amir Sohail and Javed Minadad. Like ever, pulses raced higher and after having some disturbance from Indian wicket keeper Kiran More, Javed Miandad exhibited frog jumps. That was quite a funny moment of the match.

Miandad - Frog jumps

Like 74 against England and losing to India were not enough, fifth match against South Africa brought another misery. Rain halted the game and Pakistan was given the revised target of 194 in 36 overs. Pakistan had a confident start, but the acrobatic run out of Inzamam stole the victory. McMillan appealed for the LBW, but Jonty Rhodes, fielding at deep backward point didn’t wait for the response of umpire. The way he picked up the ball, ran and dived parallel to the ground to hit the stumps was just spectacular. That defined one of the finest moments not only in the world cup history, but the cricket as well. Pakistan lost by 20 runs.

Rhodes - acrobatic dive

Having just 3 points, the team was on 8th position out of 9 participants after playing 5 games. That was a hopeless situation.

Sixth match against Australia started with do or die situation for Pakistan. 76 by Amir Sohail helped us securing 220. Pakistani bowlers put their best efforts and confined Australia to only 172, winning the match by 48 runs.

From that victory, Pakistan stepped on the road of success.

Seventh match was against Sri Lanka. Pakistan chased the target of 213, registering its victory by 4 wickets in the last over.

Pakistan played its eighth match against New Zealand – the unbeaten team of the tournament so far. Proving itself dangerously unpredictable team of the world, Pakistan stamped a seven wickets victory against the unbeatable team and secured total 9 points.

Whether Pakistan would qualify for the semi final or not was all dependent on the match between West Indies and Australia. Victory could lead West Indies to Semis on securing 10 points. Luck was on our side. Lara got run out on 70 and finally Australia won by 57 runs.

Pakistan, standing 4th on the points’ table, reached to semi, where it had to face New Zealand.

Semi final put Pakistan into almost a desperate situation, when there needed 123 runs in last 15 overs. 263 was a huge target in those times. The crowd was hostile and there was no Afridi or Jaysuriya phenomenon in batting to turn the table in a few overs. But what happened next was spectacular. Young Inzamam’s fast and furious innings of 60 runs of just 37 balls along with Miandad’s unbeatable 57 confirmed Pakistan’s place to final.

WC 1992 - Semi Final

That was 25th March 1992, the biggest day for Pakistan’s cricket history. Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat. Openers failed and Pakistan hardly managed to score only 70 in 25 overs. From that much defensive performance, Pakistan shifted to aggressive mode and scored 249 in 50 overs; featuring 72, 58, 42 and 33 by Imran, Miandad, Inzamam and Wasim Akram.

The electrifying bowling attack of Pakistan cornered England to 69 for 4. But then Allan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother took the score to 141. Keeping the attacking policy, Imran gave second spell to Wasim Akram in 35th over. That brought the most promising moment of his career, when two wizardly deliveries sent Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis back to pavilion. When Neil Fairbrother got out on 62, total score was 180 for 7. Rest was a formality. Pakistan easily conquered the English team by 22 runs.

Wasim Akram - The final WC 1992

The world cup theme song, “Who rules the world” started telecasting on the PTV. The whole nation was jubilant. It was a day like Eid, even thought this was 18th Ramadan in Pakistan.

I was just 10 at that time, but when I reflect back to that day, I could easily recall why winning the cup was so important. My Mother told me that Imran could build the cancer hospital only if we win. Not only for me, but for the whole nation, that was the cause larger than life. Imran spoke of the same in the award ceremony.

Who in the world had imagined that the team who collapsed on shameful 74 runs against England could reach to the final and defeat the same team and emerge as a world champion. Thanks to the rain and the bonus point that miraculously brought Pakistan to semis.

The cup and the skipper

This is 2014 now. 22 years have passed to the happiest day of our cricket history. T20 world cup is in progress. Pakistan desperately needs another happiest day. We really do.

Let’s hope for.

Hug me; I am frozen inside.
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.
Please be with me, and do not hide.
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.

My soul is soaked up in the dark,
There seems no ray of light.
Be nice to me and hold my hands,
Do help me in this fight.

Get in my arms; glow far and wide,
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.
Hug me; I am frozen inside.
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.

What’s that unveiled across the wall?
Well, this is never shown.
Unasked, unheard, unsolved, unseen,
Unnamed, unsung, unknown.

Stand up and reach; Get up and stride,
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.
Hug me; I am frozen inside.
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.

No matter how much dense is fog,
No matter how much cold.
Keep your head high and walk through it,
And get the pot of gold.

Embrace the rainbow with a pride,
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.
Hug me; I am frozen inside.
O’ Sunshine! Be my guide.

 (Nayyar Afaq / Autumn Green)

Sunshine :)

Trust broken up, once and for all,
But no, I must not cry.
It’s over – yes, it’s over now,
Stand up and bid goodbye.

I never thought we had to part,
For no reason and rhyme.
But ah, once we were friends – and this,
Hurts deeply all the time.

The place where once I had my heart,
Now, carries only pain.
But I won’t cry, but I won’t shout,
But I must not complain.

It hurts me that she walked away,
Who once remained my friend.
Still I will share her all the prayers,
And care, I must extend.

Bestow on her the happiness,
And make her wounds all heal.
Oh Lord! Please let her rise again,
Give her the heart of steel.

No matter how much tough is life,
No matter how much dark.
Don’t let the tides wreck ourselves,
To shore, please bring the ark.

It’s not that easy, yes I know,
But one must always strive.
And so do I will try my best,
Hope that I would survive.

I’ll try to keep my tears unshed,
Smile, as much as I can.
It’s time to quit; it’s time to leave,
But like a gentleman.

(Nayyar Afaq, 27th January 2014)

Broken Mirror

The poem is dead

O’ rest in peace – the poem is dead,
I doubt if ever it was born.
There is no light, there is no hope,
The ink has dried, and page is torn.

I wish I could have saved its life,
I wish I could have written more.
I wish I had not let it go,
I wish I had not closed the door.

It’s not the first, it’s not the last,
It happens every now and then.
The lifeless fingers cause to stop,
Then, no way can I move my pen.

But that one was close to my heart,
That one was which I love to be.
Ah, yet I had to do it, sad,
I killed it all; from A to Z.

The death of poem is death of mine,
But only if you ever care.
I may come back to life, but well,
It’s okay, I don’t ask for prayer.

(Nayyar Afaq / The Autumn Green)

sculpture_by_AnnG

Her home was silent – like a grave,
No footmark on the floor.
No sign of life; no voice, no light,
I stared at the door.

On all the walls, the paint was torn,
And dust laid on the chairs.
Will she come back? No, she will not,
Cried all those empty stairs.

My pulse was racing with a fear,
I turned my head to right.
She slowly dimmed and in the end,
Moved finally out of sight.

With heart filled with a steady pain,
And tired, aching feet.
I knew I had to walk in vain,
In dark and endless street.

I wish I could forget it once,
That ugly, awful lock.
Which yelled: now she is here no more,
The time was 4 O’ clock.

(Nayyar Afaq / The Autumn Green)

That ugly, awful lock.

Sunshine yellow, sunshine blue,
Dashing chroma, lovely hue.
That’s a treasure, tried and true,
Shines like pearl, on me and you.

Hide me, hide me in your shawl,
All for one and one for all.

Morning starts with zeal and zest,
Lark has come out from her nest.
Sun from east, and clouds from west,
Ah, their wedlock seems the best.

Winter, summer, spring and fall,
All for one and one for all.

Fluttering, flapping, greeny grass,
Empty bench and half filled glass.
Whistling breeze like that of bass,
Let it go, oh let it pass.

Let it play with trees and squall,
All for one and one for all.

Come on, come on, bros and sis,
Walk on air, let’s dance with bliss.
That’s so simple, yes it is,
Bless each one a hug and kiss.

Love is writing on the wall,
All for one and one for all.

(Nayyar Afaq / The Autumn Green)

Me

She smiles in beauty, like a flower,
With charming scent and floral touch.
My head bows down, the worship starts,
Still looks, I haven’t loved her much.

Such gentle voice with tenderness,
Such sweetest hymn, and soft accent.
Such thoughts, that fill the volumes and,
Such words, that bring enlightenment.

These are, but pearls from higher world,
Not ordinary lips, or cheeks, or eyes.
What mystic Rumi failed to know,
I found that heaven in disguise.

Please wind! Don’t try to steal my scarf,
She at once, turns and hides her face.
And whispers something in the air,
Oh all that beauty, all that grace.

Some day, I would confess to her,
But how and when, I have no clue.
My silence keeps the mid night tears,
Her laughter shines the morning dew.

But ah! I am an autumn tree,
With springless nights, and arid days.
I wonder she will pluck my thorns,
Or maybe simply part her ways.

(Nayyar Afaq / The Autumn Green)
Dedicated to 2nd November 2009

She smiles in beauty

 

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/W729X9

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