I will not talk about our passion or courage to dream or the support. I will not talk about our flaws, our merits, our newly-established on-form wall, or the fiery opponent. I am going to address one simple problem that we might face.
We have roared and made our presence felt. We have reached a feat that no one from our country previously did and now we face a challenge like no other – Quarter Finals of the ICC World Cup 2015- the knockouts, the make or break, the do or die or whatever phrase fancies you. While the whole nation is gripped by the insurmountable pressure and hype of the big match-day ahead, we should remind ourselves, time and time again, that we may lose. Miserably.
Cricket is considered to be one of the best games ever played. From the gentle sportsmanship to the intense and nail biting finishes – this game has it all. The underlying message behind any sport is that you win some and you lose some, and in times like these, one has to win and the other HAS to lose. With the big game ahead, a lot of us lost our calm and made so many response videos for a Mauka advertisement that does not even exist. We turned Misery March into a month of victory for the Cricket team and we almost, “ALMOST”, believe that a win is imminent. While we put our heads in the willow and wake up early for the game, we need to consider the option, and a very big one, that we might lose; we might lose miserably at the MCG. We have to consider the option that our players will not be able to tackle the pressure and collapse just like the old days. We have to consider, and come to terms with the fact that none of the golden 11 men will perform. We need to consider all this for one reason only – This is new. Quarter Finals of the grandest daddy of them all is the most crucial, most terrifying and an absolutely new feeling to them; a new game with a new feel, with a tickle in the heart almost in mint condition and ready to collapse like a building with no strongholds. These 11 men have the responsibility that none of us do. These 11 men have the job to represent us and our prayers, our love, our heart-breaks, the support and our collective effervescence on the field. These 11 men are the reflection of our love and support, and that is the biggest weight in the whole world for 11 men so new to a WC Quarter Final; for 11 fragile men.
We have to consider a loss for our captain who risks not only his career, but his life, to lead the 16 million nation onto the MCG. We have to consider a loss for the wall who held us strong, for the little mushy kid who keeps the wicket, for the world number 1 who accelerates our heart beat, for the cat-eyed finisher, for the slingy fast bowler, for the blazing young gun and so many others who will take the pitch to fight it out tomorrow. We have to consider a loss tomorrow because we are already winners, because we have seen them play their hearts out, to bow England out, to be the best competition for the impeccable New Zealand, to be in the leading top 4 of the pool and be graceful about their game, be passionate and to promise us their last pint of blood for a win. We should consider a loss because we are already winners, our reflection on MCG – the 11 men, are already winners, trying to be the best in the whole world. We should consider a loss, and accept one too, no matter how bad it is, how hard it is, or how shameful it is and pat the team on the back for the effort of making it through to the Quarters. We have to consider a loss and move forward knowing the achievement we have now and to progress further into making history. All we can do is hope, pray, stare and beat this one little word that escapes our mouth and pour on our lips like honey – Bangladesh.
We are here, and we are ready. We are ready for the biggest match of our entire lives, and probably the biggest one there ever will be. We are here in red and green and we are here to be the best. We may win, we may lose, but we are here as one and as one we shall unite. This is in hopes of a #TakeThemDown. Game on, here we go!