Karachi, Pakistan‘s cricket fans poured into the streets and set of firecrackers across the country as they erupted in joy after Babar Azam’s men comprehensively defeated India by 10 wickets to end a 12-match losing streak against the arch-rivals in ICC World Cups. Pakistan bested India in every department of the game in their T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on Sunday night.
Happy and joyous fans blared car horns and set off firecrackers in Karachi where big screens were installed at many public spots and hotels to broadcast the match amid easing COVID-19 restrictions.
In some places, the police also reported people resorting to aerial firing to celebrate the big win.
“Congratulations to the Pakistan Team and especially to Babar Azam who led from the front, as well as to the brilliant performances of Rizwan & Shaheen Afridi. The nation is proud of you all,” Prime Minister Imran Khan stated from his twitter account.
The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Ramiz Raja also tweeted that it was a proud moment for all Pakistanis.
“Alhamdolilla…It’s the first one, the most magnificent one but remember journey has just begun.. such a proud moment for all Pakistanis and thank you boys for providing us this moment to cherish.”
Farhan, a university student, had driven down to the Seaview beach area soon after the match to celebrate the victory as loud music and patriotic songs played from stereo decks in many cars, which honked horns near the beach as police tried to control the increasing traffic.
Many fans had Pakistani flags waving from the windows of their cars.
“It is not just the fact that we have beaten India for the first time in a World Cup after so many attempts but the way we did it that is something to cherish,” Farhan said.
One could also hear people cheer loudly from apartment buildings and houses in the upscale Clifton and defence areas.
All roads in Karachi wore a deserted look before the match but soon after it ended the fans started pouring onto the streets.
Even the chief of the Army staff congratulated the Pakistan team for the big win as he tweeted that the nation was proud of the team.
Naveen Jan, a housewife who came with her family to Seaview to join the celebrations, said it was a moment to rejoice but the real celebration would now be when Pakistan wins the World Cup.
“It is just the beginning of the tournament. A lot of hard work remains to be done but to beat India for the first time is so special. I have waited for 15 years since I started following cricket for this day,” she said.
The Pakistani win comes at a time when the diplomatic relations between the two countries are at a low.
“Yes I felt Pakistan could win this one in the T20 format but so one-sided and by such a big margin that is surprising to many of us,” former Test spinner, Iqbal Qasim said.
India has frozen bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan ever since the Mumbai terror attacks in which hundreds lost their lives.
In the winter of 2012, Pakistan did tour India for a short white-ball series but the two teams have only met in either ICC events or the Asia Cup tournaments.