The Year of the West Indies

‘6 6 6 6! Carlos Braithwaite! Remember that name’

Just can’t get over the emotion with which Ian Bishop was commentating when in a 4 balls West Indies turned the nail biter final of the World T20 2016 on its head. It was quite literally amazing. The young all rounder in question made the 19 required off the last over seem like a paltry sum. 4 hits and done. It was actually more or less done in the first 2 hits but he chose to hit 2 more of the same for good measure.

As a Pakistani fan and for a majority of the other Pakistani fans our World T20 triumph pretty much came when India were defeated in the semi-finals. That West Indies went on to beat England as well and clinch the title was more of a brotherly (in cricketing terms) happiness for the Caribbean team.

There is always something likeable, at least for me, when it comes to two teams – the West Indies and the Kiwis. So personally I am happy they won. And they deserved every bit of it. Starting from uncertainty and a complete lack of support from their cricket board this team literally scrapped everything together, every member of it to achieve the success they did. They triumphed against unbelievable odds off the field. On the field they banded together and played as a unit. They tried their best to cover whatever they were lacking. And they triumphed. It will make for an unbelievable story for years to come – h–w the West Indies won the 2016 World T20. And it was not just a one man show throughout the tournament. Everyone delivered in different games. There was a different hero in each game. And there were contributions here and there by everyone.

It was Gayle in the group game against England with a hammering century. It was Simmons, Charles and Russel against India in the semi-final. It was mostly Samuels against England in the final and of course the 4 ball demolition from Braithwaite.

Darren Sammy’s men also capped off with their title an overall great year for the West Indies. As it stands they are the Under 19 World ODI champions (January), the Women’s World T20 champions and the Men’s World T20 Champions. The men’s team also became the first country to lift a second World T20 title. England, SL, India and Pakistan have 1 each.

They played like a united team from a situation where the cricket board’s actions and relationship with the players would be deemed anything other than unity. They played with heart. They played with spirit. They played in a way where no one can say they didn’t deserve it. I think every neutral would have been supporting them.

The world as it is in this day and age has moved on from that euphoria on to the more current happenings of the IPL and the post world cup soul searching of certain countries’ performance at the tournament. Pakistan for one has gone into full gear of heads rolling and overhauls and calls for change. Afridi has resigned from captaincy but not opted for retirement just yet. Waqar Younis after much love hate drama with the PCB has resigned as coach. Aaqib Javed has refused to become the coach after what he deemed was the PCB going back on their word and their handling of Waqar Younis and much more. Oh and Inzi is our new head selector.

So yes all this will go on and much more. However we must not easily take away from this being the year of the Caribbean’s cricketers. Youngsters, Women and Men. The Calypso kings have truly marked 2016 as their year and in style. 6,6,6,6.

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The Year That Was: 2012

First of all a Happy New Year to all. May 2013 be wonderful, prosperous, joyous, happier, merrier, more successful, more opportune, more everything positive that you can think of on this planet for you!

2013_sparklers_sm

As it turned out the Mayan’s probably ran out of steam in continuing their calendar or planned a very elaborate practical joke for the superstitious and weak hearted around in the year 2012. Also there was no planet x or Nibirui or whatever on course towards earth. In short.. we have survived 2012 without any world ending incidence. We are in 2013. So cheers to all for that.

Now apart from the hullabaloo of the Mayan apocalypse the rest of the year was much like most years. Some good and some bad all mixed in 365 days to make a year. Actually 2012 was a leap year so let’s make that 366.

Some notable things from around the world:

  • Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 60 years as head of the Commonwealth in February
  • The Greek Debt crisis forced the Eurozone Finance ministers to grant a second bailout to Greece worth 130 Billion Euro in February
  • After 244 years of publications the Encyclopedia Brittanica discontinued its print edition in March
  • A pastel version of ‘The Scream’ by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch sells for US$ 120 Million in New York City setting a new record in May
  • CERN discovered a new particle in July after experiments in Large Hadron Collider
  • London successfully held the 2012 Summer Olympics between July-August
    london-2012
  • 620 Million people were left without electricity after what was the world’s worst blackout in history in India in July
  • September saw a series of hostile attacks, protests and outrage over a anti Islamic amateur film made and uploaded on YouTube. As a result of an attack in Libya, the US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens lost his life. The protests and violence also claimed lives and damage to property in other countries and cities. Pakistan has since banned YouTube as protest for allowing the video to stay on the website which is deemed an offense to sensitivities of the Muslim world.
  • Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without any machine assistance during a record space dive out of the Red Bull Stratos helium-filled balloon from 24 miles (39 kilometers) over Roswell, New Mexico in the United States in October
    ap_felix_baumgartner_skydive_freefall_thg_121015_wg
  • Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense against the Palestinian-governed Gaza Strip, killing Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. In the following week 140 Palestinians and five Israelis are killed in an ensuing cycle of violence. A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is announced by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the week-long escalation in hostilities in Southern Israel and the Gaza Strip in November

The above list is from Wikipedia’s online timeline of 2012 of sorts. Their complete list can be viewed on the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012

There were a couple of things that got missed out in the list and which I feel are important to the list:

  • The Caribbean Kings won the World T20 2012 tournament against hosts Sri Lanka
    West-Indies-lifts-Twenty20-World-cup
    • Sri Lanka were playing in their 4th final of an ICC tournament in the last 6 years and have lost all 4. They lost the 2007 ODI World Cup Final to Australia. The 2009 T20 Final to Pakistan. The 2011 World Cup Final to India. And now this one to the West Indies. Also Sri Lanka were the host nation and would have become the first host nation to also lift the cup had they won.
  • South Korean singer PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ claimed a global fame level and even became the West Indies teams, especially Chris Gayle’s, celebration style after a wicket, match win and the T20 tournament win. Rumor has it that it even made its way to the song lists of some mehndi’s in the Sub Continent region!
    1349199807-psy_gangnam_style
  • 2012’s best Hollywood release for me and many many many more will most definitely have to be ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Chris Nolan’s trilogy telling the story of Batman has been fantastic. It connects the bat with the audience on completely different level. The third movie delivers on all counts and this marvel fan will admit that it beats the avengers hands down. The Avengers had its own appeal. It was a fun and entertaining movie and was great to see so many supers packed in a single movie. But the Dark Knight definitely makes them pale in comparison.
    The-Dark-Knight-Rises-7_0

So that was all that happened Globally. I mean much more happened but those were some of the bigger things.

Pakistan in 2012 has had it’s ups and downs. There have been proud moments and moments of despair all the same. But that’s for another post.

However just a few quick positive mentions since I can’t help myself:

  • Pakistan won the Asia Cup 2012 in cricket
    287960,xcitefun-pakistan-champions-asia-cup-2012
  • Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif won the World Snooker Championship
  • Pakistan set a world record for setting the most world records in a day with Guinness – I kid you not
  • Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy became the first Pakistani to win an Oscar. She got this for directing the documentary ‘Saving Face’ based on acid attack victims in Pakistan.
  • Our Hockey team won Bronze in Champions Trophy
    Champions Trophy
  • Asif Ali Zardari and company have managed to so far steer their political ship to survive 5 years in the Government. And if they stick till February / March 2013 they will become the first democratically elected government to complete its tenure in the country.
  • It has been 2, 3 years and we still have no clue as to who the heck is Dr. Ghulam Mujtaba! (not really a positive but interesting none the less)

Once again happy new year to you all! Cheers! Smile