Tomorrow is a day of madness as India faces Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy writes Irfan Nazir
The Kashmir streets will witness the people rushing to their homes or nearby places, as arch rivals India and Pakistan will resume their rivalry for a day in champions trophy fixture.
There is no tough guessing that Kashmir has always been always supporting Pakistan cricket team. 16 year Pakistan Cricket Fan, Zubair has his own reason to support Pakistan cricket team "Kashmiris feel, supporting any country playing against India is also an act of rebellion and defiance, And also, Kashmir is a Muslim majority state and Pakistan is the leading Muslim nation in cricketing world"
Walk through the valley shops, pictures of legendary Imran khan, Javed miandad and the heart rob shahid afridi are a common sight. Go into a field, watch young kids imitating Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and other Pakistani cricketers. Listen to debates in Kashmir, it always revolves around politics and the inconsistency of Pakistan cricket team and golden memories of Pakistan Cricket.
Tomorrow is Kashmir's day of madness, each one has a story to narrate, hope, prayers, superstitions, broken radio sets, friends falling unconscious, butchers cutting their fingers in excitement, women wailing in disguise, men hooting in excitement and what not, it is sheer madness when it comes to India and Pakistan.
People at their shops adjusting the newly bought TV sets, checking if everything is in order. In shops, people are in an unending debate about the players, teams. Every one will have his own theory of who will win and why, no matter whether they know anything about cricket or not. With many consecutive losses to Pakistani side, many faces are trying hard to hide the nervousness, but can't.
Tomorrow, everyone will try to finish the work before 3 pm and many will leave their work unfinished. People will be glued to the TV sets at homes, shops, offices and in fact at any place where they find a TV.
One needs to revisit the year 1983, when Kashmir spectators waved Pakistani flags (smuggled in underpants) and Imran Khan posters in an India-West Indies contest played in Srinagar. The West Indies was shocked to see Pakistani flags and their nemesis Imran’s posters all around the stadium. The cheering of Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts as they paced to bowl Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikanth.
So, once again, valley gears up for India vs Pakistan clash on the field, tomorrow will be no different, most of the Kashmiris are hoping and praying for their favourite team to win. The cricket rivalry which produces heroes will also add few more tales from kashmir and its people to his name.
But, hold on a minute, the few weather reports from England claim that tomorrow's match may be spoiled by the rains.
I hope rains stay away from Birmingham tomorrow so that fans from all round the world get a chance to watch the most awaited cricket match as the chances of facing each other after this clash grow dim and dark in next few years amidst the growing political uncertainty