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Comeback kings conquer the world

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Tom Fordyce | 18:49 UK time, Sunday, 21 June 2009

As comebacks go, Pakistan's turnaround from World Twenty20 whipping-boys to champions was as utterly unexpected as it was stirring to the soul. Phoenixes might want to consult copyright lawyers, soap opera scriptwriters think about upping their game.

Battered by England by 48 runs at The Oval a fortnight earlier, comprehensively outplayed by Sri Lanka at this same venue nine days ago, Pakistan looked goners - disorganised in the field, toothless in attack and radars uncalibrated at the crease.

That they could be raising the sport's newest trophy at the home of cricket, with thousands of their green-shirted supporters cavorting in the late afternoon sunshine, seemed scarcely believable.

Oh we of little faith. We've been here before, of course. Pakistan's previous global triumph, the 1992 World Cup win, was pulled off in similar circumstances.

Back then it was Imran Khan's famous talk of "cornered tigers" that inspired them to victory after just one win in their first four matches. This time skipper Younus Khan spoke of WWE wrestling. Enjoy yourself, was the message. Have some fun.

And boy did they have some fun, no one more so than Shahid Afridi. Boom-Boom blew away South Africa in the semi-finals and did another demolition job in the final - 1-20 off his four overs, 54 not out off 40 balls to steer his side home with eight balls to spare.

Pakistan celebrate their World Twenty20 winWhat made it special was the serious stuff that provided a backdrop to it all. Pakistani cricket has endured a dreadful few years, from the ball-tampering row which dominated their last trip to English shores to the untimely death of coach Bob Woolmer at the last World Cup. Just 110 days ago the attack by gunmen on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore threatened to make them outcasts of the international game.

That they are now at the celebrating centre of it all is something that should give even neutral cricket fans a sense of pleasure.

Two years ago in Johannesburg, Pakistan seemed to have the World Twenty20 trophy in their grasp, only for India to snatch it away at the death. Not this time. From the moment Mohammad Aamir dismissed the tournament's top scorer, Tillakaratne Dilshan, for a five-ball duck, Sri Lanka were wobbling. Abdul Razzaq's three wickets in 13 balls wiped out the middle order, and while Kumar Sangakkara's captain's knock of 62 not out gave the pre-match favourites hope, 138 always looked gettable on a pitch devoid of demons.

It was fitting that Afridi was the man to dash the winning run. Here is a man capable of matching Imran's one-day deeds, of inspiring the same sort of fanatical devotion among his cricket-loving countrymen.

For once, Sri Lanka's M&Ms melted away in the Lord's heat. Mendis, the most economical bowler in the tournament, went for 34 from his four overs; Muralitharan and Malinga could do nothing to halt the flow of runs.

Umar Gul, the Waqar Younis of his generation, didn't need to have his greatest game. His 13 overall wickets were enough to top the bowling tables, an exact repeat of his deeds two years before. Just behind him was Saeed Ajmal, a spinner so inventive he bowls doosras as a stock ball.

As both spectacle and commercial proposition, this World T20 was a success from almost-start to finish.

Once the rain that washed out the opening ceremony had cleared, the Netherlands lit the tournament with an orange glow by proving to England fans that things can always get worse.

The pace barely relented from there - West Indies' stunning demolition of Australia, Ireland qualifying for the later stages of a major international tournament for the second time in two years, South Africa carrying all before them only to crash once again at the penultimate hurdle.

For those who have derided T20 as a slogfest with the subtlety of sledgehammer, there were innovations from both batsmen and bowlers - Dilshan's patented Dentist's Nightmare sweep, Gul's counterintuitive slow bouncer.

Spinners prospered, from Mendis and Afridi to McCallan and Ajmal, while England's gamble on a young leggie paid off to such an extent that Adil Rashid's Test debut has probably been brought forward several series.

Out-fielders routinely did things that once only Jonty could do. The merits of old-fashioned wicket-keeping were highlighted by stumpers standing up and keeping batsmen chained to the crease.

Tournament director Steve Elworthy barely stopped smiling as the numbers came in - total gate receipts of close to £15m, 96% of the available tickets sold. The experiment with two matches a day at each venue worked for fans and players alike. Running the women's tournament simultaneously opened up new audiences and made new stars.

The inaugural World Twenty20 two years ago might have seen more sixes (265 compared to 166 this time) and a tighter final, but the 2009 version moved everything else on several notches. If there were moans, they were to do with the pressing need to give Duckworth-Lewis the T20 makeover, or from the sickbed of the 50-over World Cup.

England? Fantastic. Ashes, World Cup, Twenty20 - bring on the open-top bus parades. What's that - you meant the men? Bang on par. No more, no less than their form and line-up deserved.

As ever with this format of the game, the key to maintaining its rude health will be to keep it from doing too much. The next World Twenty20 is due to take place as soon as next year. It's possible to have too much of a good thing.

Sometimes, even in a competition designed to gorge us on thrills and spills, less can still be more.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Congratulations to Pakistan. They proved the dangers of peaking too early which befell both South Africa and Sri Lanka. And as for England's women, they really showed our men the way, especially in their superb run-chase against Australia.

    All in all, the success of both tournaments clearly shows that 50 over cricket needs to come up with some innovations of its own if it is survive.

  • Comment number 3.


    Cheaters!?! I'm taking that comment with several pinches of salt...

    Pakistan did their country proud. ATM a very difficult moment back home and this will be something to smile about.

    Congrats to Pakistan, but three teams that will be very disappointed; India, South Africa and Sri Lanka, in that order.

    India never got going, S.A outplayed at the crucial game and Sri Lanka didnt look the same after 2-2.

    Happy Days though!! Know, Hampshire for the clean sweep of county trophies, with the help of another couple of Pakistanis, and I'm in heaven!!

  • Comment number 4.

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  • Comment number 5.

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  • Comment number 6.

    My alias was chosen many years ago as a tribute to Shahid Afridi but to my utter astonishment he finally used his brain cells in this tournament. I dont know if they transplanted Mohammad Yousuf's brain into Afridi's head but he transformation during the tournament has been amazing, not just Afridi but the whole team.


    I said before that I was looking forward to life after this tournament when Pakistan recall all the ex-ICL players - imagine how formidable Pakistan will be in 20/20 and ODI with Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Rana Naved, Mohammad Asif and possibly Shoaib Akhtar.

    The talent in Pakistan is incredible.. they can unearth 17 yr old bowlers like Aamir from nowhere.

    And now they seem to have added the missing ingredients to the abundant talent i.e. the right temperament and attitude (possibly with the help of a sports psychologist). The whole team stuck to a plan, didnt panic, played sensibly and pulled off a sensational victory.. they played Mendis and Murali without any problems at all. Mendis looked like a nobody in front of the Pak batsmen


  • Comment number 7.

    Despite being an British of Indian origin, ironically, I believe this was a fitting finale to the competition. The advent of IPL, their cricketing success and the new found economic strength have all made the Indians an arrogant lot and the tournament could not have been scripted better. That the champions did not include a single IPL player but one from ICL (match winner at that) would have proved a point to Lalit Modi and his cronies : no amount of money can buy sporting prowess. Also, it would shut the gloating of Indian fans for a long time. Their attitude following India's recent success has become unbearable even to someone like me. But the some of the banners in the crowd insulting India was very distasteful and it was a shame it had to come to that. Despite what the media had to say, Sri Lankans did not deserve to win for reasons I do not want to discuss here. The team most deserved to win this did in the end and hats off to Younis Khan. Mark my words, he is the true heir to Imran Khan. Well done Pakistan.

    About England, they had a very strange tournament. They beat the Champions (India) and Champions to be (Pakistan) but lost to everyone else. Ironically it was Pakistan like mercurial performance and I can't wait for the Ashes. I am sure Andrew Strauss would prove every bit as inspirational as Younis Khan did in the last two weeks and we can bring home the Ashes. Go England!!!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    If I'm honest, the World Cup was a bit of a let down.

    I see Oliver Brett wrote an "exciting finish" to describe the final. I'm sorry, but winning with 8 balls to spare simply isn't exciting. And that sums up the World Cup (and perhaps Twenty20 as a whole) for me: not enough exciting finishes. England v Holland was a major exception, of course, and England v India was much closer than it should have been! There's probably one or two more I've forgotten as well. But for the most part, matches have been very one-sided - not helped by the Whipping Boys I suppose!

    And to cap it off, the best team, imo, has most definitely not won. But, that's sport for you, and fair play to Pakistan. They were most certainly the Dark Horses. And they got to the finishing line with relative ease in the end.

  • Comment number 9.

    pakistan are the best team in the world. They did not play the IPL, yet they one the tournament. They were excluded from the champions league t20 for what? They are now the best team and IPL shall consider that and play one domestic team from pakistan for sure.

  • Comment number 10.

    Pakistan just got stronger with each game. As an england fan im happy to see Pakistan win as they have great natural talent, esp Gul , what a great bowler, Akmal also being a quality keeper and dangerous batsman.

    Hopefully pakistan can get their foreign home ground sorted and play internationl cricket again.

    was also great to se some of the cocky teams put in place i.e...india...austrlia.....

  • Comment number 11.

    Well played Pakistan Cricket, you were missed.

  • Comment number 12.

    my fair and balanced fan ... grapes are sour :-p ... if such a busy nation you are then why you were wasting time to watch SL and Pak playing great cricket and posting your comments .... Great event by England .. well done England for holding women and men cricket events in such a great format.... well done English women team ... you have taken cricket to another level high for women for the sake of good sports.

  • Comment number 13.

    "Pakistan's turnaround from World Twenty20 whipping-boys to champions was as utterly unexpected" - Last I checked Pakistan have only lost 5 out of 20 T20s played. Not quite sure how you get whipping boys from a 75% win rate.

    And to echo other comments on this blog, in terms of T20 this was pretty much Pakistan's second team (although I'm sure they wont defend the trophy)

  • Comment number 14.

    i am so proud of my team today, and along with me millions of pakistanis around the world and back home are ecstatic. we salute our team, this victory has united the nation during a difficult time.

    well done to the tigers.

    does anyone know where the team is staying in london would love to see them !!!

  • Comment number 15.

    From an Irish cricket fan, well done Pakistan! These guys are too talented, too explosive, and too dramatic to sideline from international cricket, and hopefully this will convince everyone that a solid and healthy Pakistan team is invaluable for the heart and soul of the game. A wonderful story; congratulations to Younus & co.!

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic result from the England Women again. Pity the BBC think Sebastian Vettel wining a F1 Grand Prix is more newsworthy and relegate their winning of the World Cup to the side bar. No wonder the prize money for the women is only one tenth that of the men. Until they get proper coverage they wont get proper sponsorship. Its a crying shame that we cant appreciate our female stars as much as we do the men. They certainly showed them how to play this week

  • Comment number 17.

    Well done Pakistan. I just want to point out that Pakistan has sacrificed alot in this war on terror. Pakistan needs support from all other countries, but unfortunately, other countries are not standing with Pakistan. If Pakistan had not stand with WEST or USA in this war on terror, Pakistan would not be in this state. Why Pakistan is being left alone?? The International cricket teams should show courage and visit Pakistan. It looks like there are no principles. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are very much interested to divide (Pakistan Share) 2011 ODI worldcup matches among them. And for some reasons, Sialkot Stallions is not invited to Champions League. I hope Pakistan team will move forward inspite of all these problems. Overcoming all these difficulties will make you stronger and you are real heroes. Pakistan Zinda Baad (Long Live Pakistan).

  • Comment number 18.

    Well done.

    The team deserved to win after what happened to them these passed few years.

  • Comment number 19.

    Pantomime villain Vettori - where is he skulking right now?

  • Comment number 20.

    Afridi makes an amazing comeback to form when many said he was 'finished'.
    Not only with the bat but as a dangerous wicket taking bowler now!
    And with that stunning catch he took against NZ he looks a real allrounder at the moment.
    Umer Gul was fantastic through the tournament.
    Sri Lanka, bad luck. But i am glad they did not win the tournament for reasons i wont reveal here. But being a very talented team like Pakistan they deserved to get past the super 8.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    India has produced Nobel Laureates like Dr. Chandrasekar and Sir CV Raman and tagore - To me, these are victorious moments - not winning the worhtless t20 cricket

    I have repeatedly said, for boys T20 - for men, India and England like teams, Tests and ODI - Long live BCCI, long live India, Long live IPl and Modi - long live Indian cricket and English cricket - England and India are the hope for future cricket - England with its vision and India with its execution and fan base and rock stars of cricket

  • Comment number 23.

    The final showed that 20 overs levels the playing field considerably. Well done to Pakistan for bring out some performances after looking dreadful against England. Their pre-match fielding routines before that game were utterly shambolic.

    Disagree with Dilshan being player of the tournament. The all-round contribution of Afridi should have gotten him that honour. Eighth on the highest run scorers, fifth on the bowling list, one of the lowest economy rates of the tournament, and he took the same number of catches as Dilshan.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned nearly enough is the quality of pitches. We all saw how tedious cricket could be during the winter with some of the docile tracks the West Indies served up. All the grounds for this tournament served up great cricket wickets that offered batsmen and bowlers plenty. T20 games need these type of wickets and so do Test matches. Congratulations to all the ground staff for producing good cricketing wickets.

  • Comment number 24.

    Rofl at the sore Indian losers. It's bad enough their out, i guess it's worse Pakistan won. Pathetic Indian fans can't man up and accept it when the better team wins,

    As for "your vision". Rofl.

    T20's may not be "the best" to a handful of people such as yourself. But there is a reason T20 games have packed stadiums.

    Once again, there is a reason why Test games are empty excluding the old man and his newspaper.

    Sorry mate, say it as much as you want, Nobody cares what you think. Cricket is cricket

  • Comment number 25.

    Ah...this victory certainly helped regain esteem for Pakistan cricket and its fans. A job well done, boys! Its a good feeling being a Pakistan fan.
    Also, Hats off to English women for putting on a fine game of cricket.

  • Comment number 26.

    Will India be safe now

  • Comment number 27.

    India has severn Nobel Laureates and enjoys America's most trusted scientific status - yet, we Indians in US are not so arrogant
    for such a trivial tournament such as hit and giggle, the T20 win, Pakistanis are over-doing as though they have found a solution for world's problems

    just get a grip and do somthing useful - do not waste time celebrating this win - we Indians are way too busy to notice this win - we actually discount such events

  • Comment number 28.

    To Pakistan - wake up to reality - when did you win a Test series last - when did you win a ODI series last - finally, host a cricket tournament at home - do not over blame India for your trivial win

  • Comment number 29.

    fair and balance bahi ,,, chill man, we know you have lot of free time to post every thing expect just cricket here .... don't be so sese ... admit it now ... billions you will spend and still go out in group stages

  • Comment number 30.

    fair and balance bahi moreover its not US ... its England we have this great event ... England the home of Cricket ... well done England and Pakistan, few people out here cannot digest your victory and their defeat ... ITS EASY TO CELEBRATE WHEN YOU WIN, DIFFICULT TO SWALLOW WHEN OTHER WINS

  • Comment number 31.

    fair bahi, we dont like to host matches at home, but like to beat other teams at their homes... i think fair is so eager to host matches ... and like to win at his home... because he knows "apni gali main to .... "

  • Comment number 32.

    Actions speak loder than words - let us see if Australia will tour Pakistan - unlikely

  • Comment number 33.

    Vettori was unhappy with Gul's bowling

  • Comment number 34.

    India has severn Nobel Laureates and enjoys America's most trusted scientific status - yet, we Indians in US are not so arrogant
    for such a trivial tournament such as hit and giggle, the T20 win, Pakistanis are over-doing as though they have found a solution for world's problems
    a) Learn to spell. Its seven, not severn.
    b) If its so trivial how come Dhoni's house needed extra security after India went out? How come the Indian media's been asking for Dhoni's head and how come the BCCI has gagged Kirsten?
    c) It wasn't Pakistan who capitalized on a T20 World Cup win to launch an over-rated league in India filled with Bollywood muppets and constantly shoved down the throats of the world by the Lalit Modi mob.
    d) It wasnt so trivial a tournament in 2007 when India won it. In fact, India were "World Champions" and "the best team ever" at that time. Do you want some honey with those grapes, they must taste awfully sour to you.
    e) Learn to be gracious, and congratulate a team which(much like India in 2007) started as underdogs and ended up winning the tournament with some amazing performances against massively favorite teams.

  • Comment number 35.

    Quote: India has severn Nobel Laureates and enjoys America's most trusted scientific status - yet, we Indians in US are not so arrogant
    for such a trivial tournament such as hit and giggle, the T20 win, Pakistanis are over-doing as though they have found a solution for world's problems

    just get a grip and do somthing useful - do not waste time celebrating this win - we Indians are way too busy to notice this win - we actually discount such events
    Are you kidding me?

    Indians were burning effigy's of Dhoni and calling for the teams heads after they were knocked out of the tournement.

    Seriously, Sore losers do make you life, but Atherton was right when he said Indian fans are the most immature.

    Just ridiculous mate.

  • Comment number 36.

    Congrats to Pakistan i was on the edge of my seat in each moment, but what i truely love is the attitude of Sri Lankan players and fans - brilliant people almost everysingle one of them, i am so proud of how they behaved on bbc 606's before the game and how they wished luck to everyone. Pak and Sri lanka may well be the friendliest cricketing nations when playing each other... Great job to Sri Lanka they may not have had as good a game, looking forward to seeing them in action again and hope for another final

    as for fairandbalancedfan

    normally a user picks a username that actually indicates something about the person using it - i know that concept has been dragged on too long

    ish90an is absolutely correct when india win, the world doesn't sit down and shut up about it - if they win it was because they are the best team of the tournament, this isn't the final year of cricket in the entire world - the games not disappearing at least be respectable to the team that won because they worked very hard for it, something i haven't seen pakistan do in years.

    To be completely ignorant of the fact that sri lanka and pakistan played a final together makes you no fan at all, cricket doesn't deserve your attention and you don't deserve cricket!

  • Comment number 37.


  • Comment number 38.

    first of all i want to say Well done to pakistani team and secondly i want to say that i know ppls get up set if their team don't win but we should not take it to heart, its game and only a game better team should and always wins.Their are few indians fans here who are just letting themselve down by themselves by posting stupid comments i-e we are busy nation and don't care if pakistan or srilanka wins or not this shows how petty their thinking is. I got an indian friend and he was happy with pakistan's win and he phoned me to congratulate me so why can't you guys be same like him .any way enough said about some petty indian fans i will still give them benefit of doubt because their team did let them down thats why dohnis house needed to be protected by police.
    I also congratulate English women team for winning T20 world cup it is a big win and they deserve this win.I am happy for Pakistani team being a pakistani and also happy for english women team for being resident of england. well done both

  • Comment number 39.

    Three comments:

    - Congratulations Pakistan (,")
    - Congratulations Englands Woman team
    - Sad to see indian fans go to depths so low, was booing the england national anthem last week not bad enough?! shocking. You dont boo the host nation of any competition as you are their visitors and guests.

  • Comment number 40.

    # 32. At 11:44pm on 21 Jun 2009, fairandbalancedfan wrote:

    Actions speak loder than words - let us see if Australia will tour Pakistan - unlikely

    Complain about this comment
    # 33. At 11:46pm on 21 Jun 2009, fairandbalancedfan wrote:

    Vettori was unhappy with Gul's bowling
    your name is fairandbalancedfan but I think your name should be :Ican'ttakeit. because simply you can't take it that pakistan have won the t2o world cup. and forget about any team if they are going to pakistan or not why don't you tell us that why your country shifted IPL to south africa and vetarri was up set about Gulls bowling because he is the one who kicked their ass...

  • Comment number 41.

    fairandbalancedfan ,

    you portray the jealous and ridiculous nature of indian fans. india are overated and were lucky to win the 2007 cup, true justice has come for pakistan to win the tournament in style beating the 2 favourites along the way. My advice to you is shut up and crawl back under the rock you came from.
    p.s LOL @ INDIA

  • Comment number 42.


    You are such sore losers (just like the 1996 WC Semi Final Vs Sri Lanka - You couldn't take losing so you started a riot)and you were not even in the final today so who cares what you think. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!

    fairandbalancedfan is right when he says you are a busy nation; So i'll let you get back to burning effigies of Dhoni.

  • Comment number 43.

    fairandbalancedfan.... will you please shut up, I am an Indian and do not like a buffoon like you speaking on my behalf, keep your views to cricket and stop pretending as if you speak for all of India.
    btw i was hoping for a Srilankan win, but congrats to Pakistan.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    the emotions are difficult to hold, i walked the streets of manchester today n couldnt stop smiling, British Pakistanis definitely know how to celebrate, its an awesome day for Pakistan cricket. I am thankful to many people on this blog, who despite being neutral cricket fans have been very supportive with their comments!! its all about having true sportsman spirit and enjoying the game.

    To Mr.Fair and Balanced....dude just chill out, You said Indians dont have time for trivial tournaments like T20, i think mate u've lost the plot totally....why does ur nation go crazy when IPL is played??? IPL is probably the most chauvinistic and commercialized tournament in the world!! however, a lot of indians i know have been supportive about pakistan's win.....which is much appreciated!

  • Comment number 46.

    First of all congrats to the England Women champs, I was amazed to see them in action. Very Talented indeed and they have taken women cricket to the next level. I just hope, soon, they get the same fan following as their male counterparts.

    Very well done to the 'Cornered Tigers'(Pakistan), they have proven once again as per their traditional reputation, 'unpredictable' and 'slow burners'. I see this tournament as the repeat of 1992 world cup.

    A short note to our busy Indian Fan... Mate, come out of it. A very busy nation shouldn't forget the slums of Mumbai and healthy official Rat Menu in UP.

    No doubt India has produced world class players but the rainbow of cricket is incomplete without other cricket nations;i-e SA, Pak, Aussies, NZies, Windies. Remember, its the cricket which has succeeded;

    I expect younger generation inspired by football will also follow fast cricket.

  • Comment number 47.

    Accodring to fairandbalancedfan, "India is a busy nation - we do not notice sri lanka and pakistan winning or losing".

    Well, Isn't that what you doing? Taking notice of Pakistan winning the 2020.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    fairandbalancedfan wrote, "T20 is an irrelevany form of cricket - so, who cares who wins - vitriol posted here does not mean i am sullied - Tests and ODIs alone count

    when India beta New Zealand in New Zealand, why so many did not come out to congratulate - all you clowns were blaming India - when India won the t20 last time, you dunces were throwing trenchant invectives on India

    so, hypocrites park your pride and vanish
    Only Tests and ODIs count"

    Then stop posting on the t20 forums if u dont care. Dont take any stress about Pakistan victory and have a good night.

  • Comment number 50.

    Congratulations to Pakistan for once again following foot steps of Indians !

  • Comment number 51.

    Couldn't figured out yet, Why Some Indian's are crying Here...Cricket is a game, winning and losing is a part of it....So Guyz be mature and get a life....
    My Heartiest Congratulations to Pakistan Men's Team And England Women Cricket. Both Simply ouplayed their opponents in Semi-Final And Final and deserved to be Crowned World Champions.

  • Comment number 52.

    The comments of a some cricket fan are a shame to sports. It is better to leave them alone licking their wounds (or ass, whatever they like) because such comments are posted only to get attention - very typical of some cultures. Nobody can argue that Pakistan were the deserving winners. Even indian fans agree that cricket needs Pakistan I was all smiles listening to Sanjay Manjeraker when he said after Pakistans victory against Newzeland Cricket needs Pakistan to win, because they always bring something extraordinary. So please leave alone people who are finding it difficult to accept that Pakistan are the world T20 champions, at best we can sympathize with them.

  • Comment number 53.

    fairandbalanced, there was no need to bring Pakistan/India enmity here, but since you did, here is one for ya. First, we know Indians are an awfully busy nation otherwise there won't be over a billion of you sore losers panting on this otherwise beautiful Earth. Secondly, so what if you have 7 Noble laureates? What the heck is the point? You arent one of them and you wont ever be. Third, sorry you guys lost dejectedly. Forth, learn by rote that when you're pointing a finger at someone else, the remaining four are pointing at you. India is a huge country, but far from being a great one just because it has people like you, sir.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Everyone. This is getting quite unneccessarily vitriolic, isn't it? This has been a great tournament with some fantastic cricket played. And it's about the cricket, isn't it? Not about tribal loyalties? We were beaten by the better team on the day, who were beaten by the better team on the day who were...etc. And so we had the worthy winners. Well done to them and well done to all the teams who took part. None of that makes any of our countries better or worse. As someone who has enjoyed the company of people from each and every one of the cricketing nations over the years, I find this nonsense rather depressing. I would like to think that cricket will benefit from the success of this tournament, and that it reflects well on all of the nations involved.

  • Comment number 55.

    The final was a fittingly exciting but we should not be angry at the remarks of one Indian fan. I am a Pakistani-American and find Indian people as loving and caring as anybody could have been. From sport we should learn how to live side by side and respect all human beings. Thank you.

  • Comment number 56.

    @ fairandbalancedfan : Why don't you be a graceful LOSER? Pakistan is now the world champion of t20 we took crown from you,last time we were no. 2 in the whole world now we are no. 1 & I mean no. 1, we improved it, unlike you Indians, accept it, don't cry that much, even here I can see your tears.

  • Comment number 57.

    Whipping boys!!!!!!!!, what does author mean by that? Pakistan has reached 2 consecutive finals and has the highest winning percentage in t20 cricket and went on to become champions this time.

    I simply fail to understand this!!!

    Congrats to Pakistan from an Indian.

  • Comment number 58.

    "fairandbalancedfan" - You are a muppet and your views does not echo the vast majority of Indians. Shame on you.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well done Pakistan! Although a die hard England fan,cricket needs Pakiistan, awful one moment and then spell bindingly brilliant the next, they are to cricket what france is to rugby union. Exciting, breath taking and always worth a bet as to which team turns up. Great tournament though. The sooner teams start there touring the better.

  • Comment number 60.

    fairandbalancedfan, your comments are making a fun of india here, make sure whenever you write something keep in mind you are representing your conuntry, anyway india is not a loser here, but you are a big loser who should be kicked out from here as quickly as possible.

  • Comment number 61.

    Fans of Cricket, lets just forget india for the moment as if it doesnt exist, or rather all the fairandbalancedfans from india. They have got nothing to do with cricket here and lets just ignore them. Congratulations to all those who love cricket and who cheered for the Greens to win.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well done Pakistan,
    We shall see you soon!

    Kind Regards,
    Indian Fan

  • Comment number 63.

    Lets face it Indian and Pakistani fans alike are never going to be over the moon for the others success! What really annoyed me was Kumar Sangakara failing to congratulate the Pakistanis on their deserved victory, this was whilst being interviewed by Nasser Hussain for SkySports. Nasser Hussian described Sangakara as being a credit to the sport, however, sour grapes are not part of a well rounded character.

  • Comment number 64.

    People are giving unfairunbalanced exactly what he wants, Attention - just ignore him, and he will go away.
    I really fancied SA to win this one, but they crumbled as usual.

  • Comment number 65.

    Great Win for the team and great gift for the nation at the right time. Just hope if ICC now feel little ashamed for doing their best to keep Pak away from intl cricket (both home and away series). boooooo for IPL and their politically biased organisers thats a shame for you as well. their will be a so called champions league in a couple of month, with no representative of champion team, what shame and what an irrelevant name to the tournament.
    Great work England for arranging the event in such an organised manner.

  • Comment number 66.

    To "PakistanZindabad92" - Please don't blame all Indians for the stupid comments by one person. Come one dude, ignore the ignorants and enjoy the victory. Well deserved Pakistan.

  • Comment number 67.

    As an Indian, living in India and being a through and through Indian fan I would view some opinions with concern. For instance I observe quite a few have remarked about Indian fans being intolerable. I also observe they have remarked about our gloating over our past successes especially the last T20 cup and so on.
    For me it is a bit hard but unfortunately there is something in all this. As fans go Indian fans can be noisy. Yes there are unpleasant guys but I have this to say - unpleasant and unruly crowds are found everywhere. Probably crowds in England are the best of the lot. Then again the entire view changes if one takes their football fans. They are a feared lot in most European countries.
    Hence I would recommend ignoring crowd behaviour generally unless it goes out of hand. I would rather hope for better security arrangements to enforce law and order in such a case. As for booing , swearing, racial taunts, etc it is difficult to have a take on such areas. It is impossible for security to control such behaviour. I would recommend the stadium authorities to appeal on microphone to such crowd segments to calm down, remind them they reflect the image of the country they support.
    However all this should not take away the main issue. Pakistan has won deservingly and we Indians congratulate them with no rancour despite what has been said here on this forum. Yes we are disappointed we did not make but we did not deserve to. Our fielding has slipped heavily , the key batsmen not in form, the bowlers failing to stick to a plan, and above all the captain himself uninspiring.

  • Comment number 68.

    Fans of Cricket, lets just forget india for the moment as if it doesnt exist, or rather all the fairandbalancedfans from india. They have got nothing to do with cricket here and lets just ignore them. Congratulations to all those who love cricket and who cheered for the Greens to win.

    You are talking out of back side aren't you Zaar - Zaar? A lot of Indians have applauded the victory here and I for one have been genuinely happy ; See my post 7 above. It is due to petty characters like you on both sides that the whole rivalry is transformed in to a stinking affair. It is characters like you who should be ignored rather than India as a whole.

    Coming back to the rational world, an important person has been ignored in all the tributes here and all over. Its been Younis Khan and Afridi all along according to the fans, but why has Inthikhab Alam been ignored? It is no coincidence that he was the manager back in 1992 and again now in 2009. Three cheers to the big man. Well done! Its a shame no one has paid any tribute to him - neither fans nor the media. I for one is very proud to pay the first tribute to him. Yes, I am an Indian.

  • Comment number 69.

    Indeed there are some good Indian fans, who know this is just Cricket. Just like any other meaningless sport, just played for a little fun.

    Some people just take things too far as if the countries are at war or something. I just personally find Indians to be involved in it somewhere down the line.

    This Tourny being a good example, and some Indian "Fans" here who seem to be acting like a relative died now that Pakistan has won, and India were knocked.

    Even the test series against Australia, some Indian fans were acting as if they'd solved World Hunger and Cured Aids or something. Some of you just need to take a chill pill

  • Comment number 70.

    Nice observation. Didn't know it until you mentioned that Intikhab was the common manager between both teams. Honestly I don't go in detail to that extent. But this must be interesting. In any case it shows to the Pakistan Cricket Board that it won't hurt them to Intikhab Alam as manager !! He must be a very sussessful manager ( then why was he not manager all along ? ) or he must have a real lucky charm.

  • Comment number 71.

    A small typo above (70). Read as "successful".

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    Sri lanka is the ebst team in the world
    Congratzz pakistan in winning the world cup

  • Comment number 75.

    Well done to our new borne team and nation on this globe. All the pride goes to them for raising Pakistan's name and his nation's head prodly. The good thing is that the champions are from Asia so the cup should stay here. Good luch for next tournament and get the cup in your hands. Pakistan Zindaabad.......

    Also well done to England Women.

  • Comment number 76.

    congrats to all pakistan fans..shahid afridi proved that he is not shahid "afraid"y.Gul done a great job.

  • Comment number 77.

    about the ball tampering row that the author talked about, this is the same as the NewZealand captain said couple of days ago, if they cant do this then it must be cheating,

    please england and all the white cricket playing nations except SA, stop behaving like children, that is pure technique learn it or leave it

  • Comment number 78.

    Well done Pakistan, unlucky in 2007 but have accomplished a long awaited win. Some of the modern greats may not be present for long, so I'm sure Afridi and the boys will give it their all in the defence for T20 2010.

    Perhaps the IPL will consider a team from the homeland of the current world champions now. There is no room for hypocracy in cricket, talent is talent.

    These competitions reveal future prospects, how good is Amir, a 17 year old that dismissed the leading run scorer with a 5 ball duck, he is def one for the future.

  • Comment number 79.

    As a die-hard Female British Pakistani cricket fanatic through and through, a huge congrats to the team, the fans, the entire nation. This is just what the Pakistanis needed to up their spirit and mood after being under constant scrutiny. The team wihtout a shadow of a doubt deserved to win, defeating the undefeated (twice) in this tournament is no small deal. Yesterday has genuinely put me in a happy mood, and it is absolutely fantastic to see the support given on this blog (give or take a few of course). Heartiest thanks to you all for putting an extra big smile on my face.

    Of course, this tournament would not have been what it was without all the other brilliant teams involved. Though i am a Pak fan through and through i genuinely thought it would be a SA vs India final...fair play and congrats to you all!!

    Afridi, my main man, always bringing sheer entertainment and genuity to any game. Hats off to Gul and of course Younis and Intikab Alam for leading the world champions!!

    Having gone to the warm-up match against India, and the Semi-final AND Final, the atmosphere was out of this world....thankyou for bringing this to England, and well done on its output...truely commemerable!

    Bring on the next T20...lets hope Pakistan can keep hold of the trophy.

    A truely happy Pakistani fan

    Also big big big congrats to the England womans go girls!

  • Comment number 80.

    Watch out for Amir and Ajmal...there are not many teams or captains that toss the ball to a 17 year old kid in the final over of a semi or a final and say "here you go kid, give it your best"...that's what it's all about!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Well what can I say? I am speechless. What a performance. I went to the match against New Zealand and it was wonderful, the crowd, players and the performance. After that match I said even if they dont win now I wont complain. Now we are world champion.. I just cant believe

    Couple of points

    1. Sangakara never said congrats to Pakistan or said Pakistan played better ( like Smith said the other day)
    2. Afridi should be the Player of the tournament. Simply because he was the stand out player in the tournament with his bowling and batting esp. in semi and Final

    But never mind I would rather take world title then the player of the tournament

    Pakistan Zindabad :) let us enjoy this moment

  • Comment number 82.

    Younus Khan's comment, ""I'd like all the countries to come to Pakistan again. The situation is not good but it's not our fault."...What come and get massacred!!!....Whole country is at war...Although I sympathize with his emotions but he has to be realistic and patient. Government's priority should be eliminating the terror in country rather hosting games...Till then Pak should play on neutral places...However, well done to players for truly playing with passion and win the cup!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    congratzz pakistan
    but as a sri lankan
    i am very proud of our greta team
    we have the best bowling attack in the world
    unfortunately the best batsman of the series Dilshan did not click yesterday
    if he cliked we could have reached 150-160
    if so
    we could easily defend it,
    we won 6 games in a row
    that is record..
    congratzz lankan lionsss

  • Comment number 84.

    Sri lanka team is the best
    we have the best caotain
    a great eductaed captain,(sangakkara)
    i love my team
    i am very proud of our cricket tea,

    BUT congratzz pakistan

  • Comment number 85.

    Well done Pakistan ! Congratulations to every single Pakistani

  • Comment number 86.

    Boom boom i agree, Afridi should have been man of the tournament hands down as he was a fantastic all rounder!

    and my dear friend will take away the fact Sri Lanka won 6 games in a row, and they did superbly throughout, however it was an achievement for Pakistan to defeat the undefeated.

    And like you said Mr JackBruster, it is not the cricket teams fault the country is in the state it is in, but they play for their country and it is only their wish to play a tournament and potentially win on their own soil. They do what they do for their country, and they should be proud of that!

  • Comment number 87.

    what ever happens
    pakistan is a freind of sri lanka
    congrtzzz pak
    and i am glad indian looers went out from the sereis
    they deserved it..
    sri lankan lions congratzz for yr great work
    won 6 matches in a row
    a record
    we are the best

  • Comment number 88.

    jaya wewa sri lanka
    we love y sl lions
    y are out heroes

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    coolgayathra -- well I agree with you that Srilanka were the best team along with South Africa for the consistent performances throughout the tournament BUT....

    beating the undefeated and most consistent sides in this tournament makes this Pak's achievement more significant and joyful.

    We deserve this after loosing the 1999 and 2007 world cup.....

    To all Pakistanis : its your moment, enjoy this victory!!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    Hear hear boomboom!! I am sure loving this well-deserved victory!

    C'mon coolgaythra, no need for that! ignore all those that are rude and can enjoy the fact that you were in the final after an unbeatable tournament for you guys and SA.

  • Comment number 92.

    pakistn deserves the victory
    they played better cricket in the fianl
    but we were the best team througout series..
    we love sri lanka
    sri lanka is the best

  • Comment number 93.

    When i went to the Pakistan vs England game and we lost, every Indian supporter said "Pakistan had no fire-power". Well clearly wrong isn't it. I had full faith in my team! and knew that we wouldn't leave the tournament without a fight! When i went to the New Zealand game, wow! that was the best time of my life. I will be ever so grateful to the Pakistan team that I admire so much for showing such a masterpiece of classic cricket! But have to say, never under-estimate the Pakistaniss! Were in it to win it!!
    & I agree. "whipping boys"! How can you say that? Pakistan having the best winning record, does not deserve that name!
    & in the truly amazed at the Pakistan team. We deserved every bit of the celebration/the world cup! were the Champions of the world! & and the no.1 team!

    Good display of cricket..Loved every bit of it!

    A true Pakistanii supporter for Lifeee!

  • Comment number 94.

    Very many congratulations to the Pakistan team - A real torch of hope for your country and what an example to us all.
    And very many congratulations to the England womens team - you are simply brilliant!

  • Comment number 95.

    To fairandbalancedfan

    Pathetic try to downgrade some one who just won a world cup! You should be ashamed of yourself.

    As an Indian fan though think South Africa could have been more deserving winners, however congratulations are in order to Pakistan.

    You won but remember this is twenty-twenty. Hereafter, the path becomes increasingly difficult. One days would require a sustained performance and test matches would consume every bit of skill and temperament (of course when played against the likes of Aus/SA/India). On these platforms results would not be guided by individual burst of energy but through coordinated efforts of every body involved.

    As Younis rightly said twenty twenty is more suited to the likes of Pakistan and West Indies. They have few mercurial players, and in a format like T20, any one of them can decisively stamp their influence as Australia found out, by facing Gayle's onslaught, much to their bad luck.
    Australia were unlucky and undeserving to go out that soon.

    That honor should have gone to, unfortunately, India. India having selected many players with injuries more than niggles simply didn't had the will to breakthrough the constraints imposed by those injuries. That was all of their making. Moreover, India never was the victim of individual brilliance in this tournament. They accounted for Peterson relatively cheaply vs England and closeted Gayle for a penny. They lost narrowly. Their strategies were not wrong but were proved to be wrong because they were uncertain.

    All in all, hope this victory adds that extra spice in Ind/Pak matches that was missing in recent previous encounters.

  • Comment number 96.

    no doubt sri lanka and south africa are the good teams but what about that team who beat these good teams without any trouble.That team got to be very good team then so srilanka and southafrica are the good teams and pakistani team is very good and the best team who beat two unbeaten teams

  • Comment number 97.

    Congrats to Pakistan on a well deserved win!!!!! You guys played very well when it really mattered and now you deserved to be called the World Champions. You've all given us something to be happy about in these trying times.

    to fairandbalancedfan:
    Since the T20 is worthless as you suggest and you are too busy to notice this win, why the hell are you feeling so compelled to waste your time commenting here? Why not just accept that Pakistan won and move on. Its not the end of the World. Get a life!

  • Comment number 98.

    Congrats to pakistan. They did not lose spirit and that is the reason why they are the t20 wc champions. Younis Khan is a great captain and Shahid Afridi is a great cricketer.Gul and Ajmal were fantastic.
    And as for mr. fair and balanced is concerned. Please do not be jealous and learn to accept defeat with your head high.
    I am proud to be a Pakistani fan.

  • Comment number 99.

    I would also like to commend Graeme Smith who praised Pakistan after the first semifinal. Although , I felt a little odd when Sangakara did not say a word for the Pakistanis after the final.

  • Comment number 100.

    Let's wish that Pak will do better than T20 in Test Matches and International cricket will come back to pakistan...i'd love to see pakistan vs Australia n S.Africa...i pray this will happen soon.
    GoodLuck Sher Jawano


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