Pakistan have just risen to the world’s number one Test playing nation.
They have done this all by themselves.
It is not a quirk in the system.
It is not like how India got there despite not beating anyone away from home except for the 8th ranked West Indies or the 7th ranked Sri Lankan team.
It is not as though they got lucky. It is not as though they have had an easy home draw.
They have had everything against them.
- India won’t play them unless it is at a World Cup because apparently Adelaide is immune from terrorist attacks
- Their captain was caught in a spot fixing sting
- Justice Qayyum said he was too lenient on Wasim Akram in regards to match fixing
- The PCB offices were raided by the tax office
- Their players were banned from the IPL but their commentators were not
- Hafeez was banned from bowling
- Saeed Ajmal was banned from bowling
- Mohammad Amir threatened to split the squad
- Afridi did split the squad over and over
- Yasir Shah failed a drug test
- Shoaib Malik retired, returned, made 200 and then retired
- Some pathetic humans shot up a Pakistani school during a New Zealand series
- Ramiz Raja’s hair
However, the biggest issue is that they have not played a home Test since 2009.
In that time they have played 24 test series. They have lost only six of those. Three were against Sri Lanka, with one each to Australia, England and South Africa.
They have also smashed all of those teams.
England couldn’t beat them at home despite having the carrot of playing for the world’s number one ranking. England choked.
Since not being able to play at home, Pakistan are a 75% chance of not losing.
Since 2009, they have played 18 test matches in the UAE, losing only three.
The stadiums in Dubai and Sharjah and buried in the middle of sand dunes and devoid of crowds. The UAE is not a home ground for Pakistan. It is a neutral venue. Please don’t pretend otherwise.
Pakistan don’t have the luxury of doctored pitches, of screaming fans or the ability to sleep in their own beds surrounded by family and friends.
Pakistan attempted to resurrect home cricket in 2015, when Zimbabwe toured for a couple of ODI’s. However, some fool blew themselves up outside a stadium ironically named after tyrant Colonel Gaddafi. Was it linked to the cricket? We don’t know. But it happened and the world doesn’t like bombs going off near sporting events. Unless of course it happens at a relatively small event like an Olympics in Atlanta. Then, according to Western values, we can quickly forget and move on.
You can’t move on when bombs go off near cricket stadiums in Pakistan.
Pakistan are Test cricket’s nomads.
When Pakistan last played at home, Instagram wasn’t yet invented. Younis Khan was in his 30’s and heading towards the back end of his career. Misbah was 35 and should have been thinking about retirement.
Pakistan rising to become number one is not just the biggest story of the week.
It is the biggest story of the decade.
In all of sports.
They are more inspirational than The Mighty Ducks and the Karate Kid combined.
They are now the best in the world. Better than Australia. Better than England. Better than South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the West Indies.
Despite every natural advantage that their bigger neighbours have, Pakistan are better than India.
This is a fact.
Oh, what we would give for India to drop their false politically motivated pretenses and play Pakistan in a Test series. It wouldn’t matter if it was in London or the Emirates or Switzerland. But they won’t. India are scared of losing.
Pakistan aren’t scared of losing. They are scared of not playing. Of not feeding the national psyche.
Never change Pakistan. You are the best.