In the days following India’s abysmal loss against arch rivals Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final at the Oval in London, both Indian and Pakistani cricket fans have been taking jibes at each other.
But there is no denying the exemplary show of cricket that the Men in Green displayed.
After the match, many took to social media and even news media to lambast Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the rest of the team for the poor performance.
Twitter was flooded with fury and sarcasm, but amid caustic remarks on social media, there is a Facebook post that’s creating waves with its words of love and friendship.
Amid all this, Archana Mohan, an Indian woman, posted a heart-warming letter to Pakistan as her Facebook status. She thanked the Pakistan team for winning the match and for “being an inspiration”.
The post has been shared almost 10,000 times and has received thousands of comments and likes.
Mohan said that she woke up the morning after the match expecting a “soul wrenching hangover after [Pakistan] pulverized [her] team yesterday”, but instead, she found her family commending and appreciating the Pakistani team and players.
She said that India may have lost the final, but many of them had won something more valuable than trophies, which was the “tag of being a good sport”.
Here’s the letter for Pakistan-
Pakistan, thanks for defeating us!
I was sure I would wake up with a soul wrenching hangover after you pulverized my team yesterday. To be honest, I wanted to bury myself in a hole and keep newspapers at bay so I didn’t have to relive ‘that’ no ball again.
But something happened this morning.
Instead of the pooja room, where she usually offers prayers every morning, my mother in law was in the living room, waxing eloquent about Mohammad Amir. ‘God works in mysterious ways,’ she said. ‘The boy who made a mistake in his youth has grabbed his second chance. What a great redemption!’
‘I wish we had players like theirs’, my husband said ruefully. ‘From the by lanes of Peshawar to an ICC event, they are cricketers in the purest sense’, he said dreamily.
‘And what about that boy Fakhar Zaman’, my father in law, said, his cup of filter coffee simmering just like his voice. He is a Navy man no? That’s what a soldier does for his country,’ the ex-serviceman said proudly.
At work, the colleague who had only a day earlier tweeted a crude slur on Pakistan confessed he had watched everything there was on Youtube about Sarfaraz Ahmed. That man, he said sheepishly, is something else.
On my social media feed, there were dozens of messages congratulating Pakistan and saluting their never say die spirit. ‘Marry me Babar Azam’ said one of them!
It felt like utopia.
What if India had won? I shudder to think of how low some of us would have stooped in our boorish behavior.
It has been a tough few years for Pakistan. Lack of finances and the reluctance of other teams to play there on account of security reasons has crippled them to some extent but as this win shows, you can never write them off. Irrespective of the result, I am sure, we will always remember this unbelievable comeback from the team that was expected to crash out in the first round itself.
I can’t believe that I am saying this, but thank you Pakistan for winning the match. Thank you for being an inspiration.
India may have ended up second, but many of us won something more important than a shiny trophy – the tag of being a good sport.
Perhaps there may still be hope for the two countries after all!
People were immensely moved by the emotional piece, and comments came from those on both sides of the border.