Pakistan for most part has had a wonderful 2017 as far as cricket goes. Even though, there were a few disappointments here and there the team green and its management should still be happy with the over-all progress.
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Here is a look at top 7 moments that pretty much defined the year for the men in green.
7. Pakistan’s First ODI Victory in Australia
January, 2017: Pakistan did not start the year well and had a terrible time in Australia. Still, the national team did somehow managed to make history when they clinched victory after a gap of 12 years against the Aussie boys on their home soil.
6. PSL Spot Fixing Case
February 2017: All seemed to be going well with Pakistan Super League (PSL) until the spot-fixing scandal surfaced. The scandal eventually resulted in Pakistan losing Sharjeel Khan (banned for five years) who was on his way to becoming the next big thing in Pakistan cricket.
Despite the setback, the ban was welcomed by former cricketing stars as it sets a clear precedent for the next generation of cricketers in the country to follow.
5. When Zalmis Became the PSL Champions
March 2017: Peshawar Zalmis made history when they beat Quetta Gladiators in the final to become the new champions of PSL.
Soon following the victory however, Shahid Afridi who was a key member of the squad announced his decision to leave the franchise and join Karachi Kings instead for the next season.
4. Pakistan’s First Test Series Win in WI and the “MISYOU” Retirement
May 2017: Pakistan were finally able to break the jinx and record their first ever Test series victory in the West Indies. The Roseau Test that ended in dramatic fashion was also the last Test match of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. Hence, the fairy tale end to the series was in many ways a befitting farewell to the legendary Pakistani icons.
Soon following the game Pakistanis trended #MISYOU on twitter to express their love for the two Pakistani cricketers who unlike many others were able to quit the game honorably.
3. When Pakistan Won ICC Champions Trophy by Beating India
June 2017: A low ranked Pakistan ODI team for the first time in years played to its true potential in the format and ended up becoming the new champions of the ICC Champions Trophy and that too by beating India in the final.
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The fact that Virender Sehwag and Rishi Kapoor made a few controversial statements before the game and the fact that the victory came on father’s day made way for funny hashtags such as #BaapKaun #BaapBaapHotaHai and #MaukaMauka. It is then only obvious that Pakistanis used these hashtags to play funny with Indian counterparts on twitter.
The successful tournament not only helped in lifting the country’s ranking on the ICC points table but also helped in allowing Pakistan a resurgence at the ODI level.
2. When Cricket Came Home
September 2017: ICC backed World XI toured Pakistan to play a three match T20 series. This was the first time a major team toured the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. The tour was significant not only because it allowed the next generation of cricketers in Pakistan to watch their heroes play on their home soil but also because it has made way for more cricketing events in the country.
1. When Pakistan Became the Number One Ranked T20 Side
November 2017: Pakistan rounded up a nearly perfect year when it became the number one ranked team in the ICC T20 rankings.
We all hope that Pakistan is able to continue their current form throughout 2018 and beyond!