The late afternoon sun had almost withdrawn itself over the cricket stadium in which thousands of hearts pounded in coordination. There was a mayhem of emotion in the stands, fitting for a cricket-loving nation. There was an infectious wave of excitement spreading through the crowd. There were eager eyes and crossed fingers and tears of joy. There were booming chants of ‘Pakistan, Pakistan’.
The cricket team of Zimbabwe was warming up on one side of the stadium, the cricket team of Pakistan on the other. On the surface, there was nothing unusual about this, but then, this wasn’t a typical scene. Up until then, most of these Pakistani cricketers had only dreamt of playing a cricket match in front of their home crowd. The day had finally arrived and they were raring to go.
I sat in front of the television screen and watched in anticipation. I was a part of no match, yet I was a part of all. I could feel the chain of emotions around the stadium. This was a buzz like no other. It was as if they had gathered to watch a cricket match for the first time in their lives. The atmosphere was electric. Some were laughing, some were dancing, some were nervous. And in the trance of those moments, all the imperfections ceased to exist, for cricket was coming back home after a wait of six long years. And a match was about to begin.