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The Willow Talk by AK: Karachi back in business

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Karachi back in business

Weekly article


Over the last few years, alot has been made of Karachi as an international venue for sports, and not without reason. The gun-violence and terrorist activities were getting worse and Karachi was unsafe for its own people, let alone visitors. As a result, the junta of Karachi suffered.

However, in the last couple years, some normality has returned to this port city. Violence and terrorist activities have been stamped down to an extent and as a result alot of positive vibes have been generated within the metropolitan. People have started getting out of their houses even late in the evenings, and feel more secure about themselves while commuting or at work.

This, however, did not translate into the hosting of international matches right away. Cricket teams were vary of Karachi after the 2002 Bomb blasts near the New Zealand team hotel and the Pakistan Cricket Board did little to dispel the fears. The PCB, on most occasions, were apologetic and submissive and were always willing to offer alternate options to visiting teams. On most occasions, they were unable to convince the other cricket boards of the improved law-and-order situation in the city and infact the entire country.

Over the last three years, a paltry three one-day matches have been played, all by Asian teams. The test count is even worse, with only two in the past three years, again by Asian teams. In that context, the Pakistan-England clash on December 15 was even more significant. To say it was thoroughly enjoyed by the Karachites would be an under-statement. A fresh mix of western and desi-style celebrations showed that the crowds were having a blast!

It was, perhaps, the most outstanding sporting spectacle the tour has witnessed. And the Karachi fans got exactly what they wanted - a thumping Pakistan win on a ground that has been a fortress for the Pakistani teams of the past.

With the massive success of this game, Karachi is back on the stage of world cricket in the most emphatic of fashion. The PCB has proposed a test and a one-dayer in Karachi for the Indo-Pak series at the start of next year. With such beautiful pictures from this beautiful city, being beamed right across the globe, the BCCI would find it hard not to accept the proposal!

© Adeel Khan

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