Cricket comes home after 8 years and just like all of us, Mira Sethi is overjoyed!
Last night, Pakistan witnessed what was one of the greatest achievements in our recent history; Pakistan Super League season 2 final! It was played between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi and was hosted in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
The atmosphere which was festive and positive, was also pretty tense as international players were going to play on a Pakistani pitch after almost a decade amidst the recent wave of terrorist attacks throughout the country.
Ahmad Ali Butt & Ayesha Omar rock the PSL Final together in Lahore!
Ever since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team during their visit to Lahore, stadiums have been portraying a picture of abandoned spaces. Where once were crowds of hundreds, now seemed like barren deserts. However, that seems to be on a road to change as the Gaddafi stadium was lit and charged with energy last night.
Credit where credit is due, the government of Pakistan and Najam Sethi deserve to be praised for their confidence and determination to stand tall against terrorism and bring cricket back home.
They say that fathers are their daughters’ heroes and that is exactly how Mira Sethi feels- after last night’s successful PSL final. Mira took to social media to express how overwhelmed and proud she was of her father and his great achievement.
She shared excerpts of their conversations throughout the PSL journey and it was sentimental:
I try not to write or debate or pitch in about my father on public forums because he's a public figure and what I feel for and about him — affection, love, pride, amusement/bemusement — may not be what others feel (certainly in that order). Today I am emotional. I am sitting in Qaddafi stadium with goosebumps on my arms. I'm not a huge cricket watcher. I watch T20s because they're short and fun. I also really like Misbah. He's a graceful man. I am emotional today because the energy in the stadium is electric. Everyone is smiling. A girl of 6 waved at me from her stand above: "Mira baji!" A huge grin on her face. Her mother beside her, waving, smiling, laughing, actually. 25,000 Pakistanis — young and old and men and women and excitement-addled children — are here. Some of the kids are too young to know or be obsessed with cricket: but they're smiling because their parents are smiling: Something Good Is Happening. They want to be a part of it. A week ago I went up to Abu's study at 1 am. He was stressed out. Some foreign players had refused to play in Lahore. The franchise owners had concerns. Pakistanis were worried. Abu was pacing in his nightsuit, a creme-coloured khaddar shalwar kameez he has worn since I was a child. I hugged him and told him that, actually, I was worried too. And I was. It was a perfectly legitimate concern. There was a lot to take care of. And today, here I am, sitting in Qaddafi stadium, the crowds roaring, doing "waves," countdowns, chants, engaged in selfie-itus that would give our actresses a run for their money. I went up to Abu and squeezed his hand. "You're wearing a woolen suit," I said. "It's too hot for this type of suit." "I don't feel hot at all," he laughed. I knew exactly what he meant: his mind and heart had expanded with joy. Heat? What heat? His mind was somewhere else. The stadium is lit up. Pakistan is lit up. May this flicker grow into a steady ray that arcs over this land. I love you, Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad. #PSL #Pakistan
Even though she refuses to make her affection for her father public, she couldn’t resist for obvious reasons because this achievement was exceptional. She stated how ‘electric’ the energy in the stadium was and how legitimate the concerns of everyone were as there was a lot to take care of.
Regardless of who won the game last night, people were ecstatic and on cloud 9 because the common man got the opportunity to finally witness what is the passion of Pakistan; cricket.
As Mira said and we quote, “Pakistan is lit up. May this flicker grow into a steady ray that arcs over this land.”
Will this spark the revival of International Cricket in Pakistan again? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.