For Pakistani cricket fans residing in the UAE, the ban on international cricket in Pakistan is bittersweet. Yes, it sucks that the team can’t host other nations at home, but at least us expats get to go watch them at the stadiums here instead. So when the PSL came to town, it was obviously a big deal. I knew I had to go and support my city’s team, Islamabad United, at as many games as possible.
But of course there is no fun in going alone and I needed my boys for the banter. Ahmed Zulfiqar (@AZKhawaja1), a Lahore Qalandars fan (lol), and Khushal Khan (@Khushal) who is a Peshawar Zalmi fan (lol again), joined me throughout the PSL.
Quick word of advice, especially with the next season of the PSL beginning in just a few days. If you really want the best PSL experience - do not, I REPEAT, DO NOT - go on your own. Going with opposing team supporters is where the real art of enjoying the PSL lies. That is when you’ll have a great time full of laughter and friendly city banter. To give you a little taste of what it was like, here are a few of my snapchats from the PSL:
The Lahore Qalandars had a pretty torrid tournament, winning only 2 of their 8 games. If you know AZ Khawaja from Twitter or in real life, you know he is the trash-talking king. Khushal and I had to put up with a lot of smack talk from AZ before the PSL started. So naturally, when the Lahore Qalandars started the PSL poorly, Khushal and I got our revenge and dished it back.
At one point, Peshawar Zalmi looked like the team to beat in the tournament, and so of course Khushal didn’t hold back. He was relentlessly mocking and ridiculing AZ and his team for the cricket they were playing. Meanwhile I just laughed on as a neutral and enjoyed the show as Islamabad also didn’t have the best of starts to the tournament. As an aside, I don’t ever recall laughing this much during a game of cricket.
Despite our differences, we did come together when the King himself, Misbah-ul-Haq, was at the crease.
Obviously, Khushal and I acted like 12 year olds too.
Eventually AZ realized that supporting Lahore was only going to make him the butt of all jokes (pun sort of intended). Here he is proudly waving the Islamabad United flag and celebrating Mohammed Sami’s 5-wicket haul.
Semi-Final time. Islamabad vs Peshawar. Khushal was all pumped up and ready to take on the trolls on Twitter and go crazy and celebrate a win.
Throughout the tournament, AZ and I had to endure Khushal’s war cry in Pashto that was “Warka Dang” which, according to him, loosely translates to “bring it on”. So when Zalmi seemed like they were down and out in the semi-final, it was only apt that I did this to him.
The humiliation continued, I had to drape Khushal in the flag.
If you can’t beat em, join em. “I live in Bahria Town bro”
I had a horrible fever throughout the final game, didn’t jump around too much, but I did save all my energy for the final ball. This was my reaction to the winning runs hit by King Misbah, to lift the trophy for Islamabad United.
Hoping for more of the same, if not better, during the second season of the PSL. We hope you will join us this year, if not at the stadium then on our snapchats at least: Sarkhail7 – Shaalizeb – AZKhawaja1