Oh jubilation! Pakistan came up from the bottom to win the coveted ICC Champions Trophy. It was done through a change in mindset, determination, great technical and tactical application, outstanding captaincy and lots of luck. For the Indians, the humiliation came as an unbelievable shock proving the adage that ‘pride comes before a fall’. I must however admit that the Indian team showed great sportsmanship and dignity in defeat and Virat Kohli absorbed the debacle with outstanding maturity, lavishing praise upon his traditional rivals. I cannot, but say well done Virat, you are a true sportsman.

On the Pakistani side, Sarfraz the skipper was humility personified. Never for a moment did he take credit for the win, but said that the victory was “by the Grace of Allah” and great teamwork by his players. His down to earth rustic style prompted one British sports commentator to say that it was wonderful to see the skipper celebrating the victory with his conservatively attired wife and son.

The win has opened up a great window of opportunity for Pakistan Cricket Board to aggressively push through their case for revival of international cricket on our home ground. To this end, they already have the support of some great cricketing legends including Sir Vivian Richards. The first step towards bringing international cricket back, should be the holding of all PSL matches in Pakistan.

The ICC Champion’s Trophy has spawned many real life stories effectively destroying the malicious myth that Pakistan is not a land of opportunity. Fakhar Zaman and Hassan Ali hail from modest backgrounds, but are gifted with enormous talent. Fakhar comes from Katlang (Mardan) and is a college dropout simply because of his passion for cricket. Gujranwala can be proud to call Hassan Ali its son. I watched in rapt admiration as his parents spoke to television channels from their simple home. One shot showed his mother sitting on a ‘peerhi’ in a rustic kitchen preparing a welcome dessert for her son.

While we celebrate the excellent performance of our cricketers, we must not forget our abysmal performance in field hockey, where we have plummeted from being world champions to a team that now needs to qualify in order to play a world event. Everyone involved with this game has his own story to justify what is happening – the players say that what they receive is an embarrassing pittance as compared to what their sporting colleagues get in cricket. The management complains of funds and regional organisations whine about politics. Here is a situation that is so riddled with disease that it requires massive surgical restructuring.

There is excitement amongst the football community on reports that a group of international celebrities led by none other than Ronaldinho are visiting Pakistan. Here is another window that must be exploited to pump life into a sport that has never found its rightful place, in spite of the fact that we can produce world class footballers. Regretfully enough, those in charge of this particular sport are too involved in internal politics to do anything constructive.

Golf is a sport that can be said to be as celebrated worldwide as cricket. We are fortunate to have developed some international level golf courses with allied facilities than can host PGA level tournaments. To that end it is time that the Pakistan Golf Federation puts its act together and seriously thinks about an international golf extravaganza in (let us say) Islamabad.

There are many amongst my acquaintances that consider our ICC Championship victory as a motivational turning point for sports in Pakistan. While I wish this were true, we will not be able to accomplish much, unless we take harsh and ruthless steps to root out egotistic and corrupt officials and politics from our sports. Our cricket results have proved once and for all that given the correct structure, we can outplay any team in any sport, anywhere in the world.