They came. They saw. They conquered.
This is the tale of the greatest underdog victory in modern cricketing history. This is the tale of a war stricken country rising to the challenge to emerge triumphantly. This is the tale of Pakistan Cricket Team winning the Champions Trophy.
After being outplayed and outwitted by India in their tournament opener and just scraping through victory against Sri Lanka, Pakistan never looked back. Decimating South Africa, England and India, as they clinched their first ever Champions Trophy title.
While some part of the Indian fanatic in me was hurt, the other part couldn’t help but watch in awe the Pakistan team steamroll arguably the best team in world cricket today.
Pakistan hasn’t had the best of times in world cricket from the start of this decade and more noticeably post the 2015 World Cup. They didn’t witness one but two changes in leadership in a span of two years, didn’t lose just one premiere player to corruption allegations but two, and the only time they won was against West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland. Despite all the controversies that have surrounded Pakistan cricket, their players have shown heart & grit to end the tournament as the World Champions.
Unknowingly, Pakistan ended up teaching the most important lessons of life and leadership that every budding entrepreneur should take note of.
- Hard Work
Pakistan team have had a horrid phase, with their batsmen barely being able to chase totals over 240 and their bowlers failing to defend modest totals of 220. Yet, the team management and every individual worked hard to easily chase down 212 set by England and then set a mammoth target of 339 against India.
Many times in this journey of entrepreneurship, you’ll have phases where no matter what you do, how hard you work nothing would turn fruitful, that’s when you can either give up or work harder than you ever have before.
Since 2015, Pakistan has played against just 3 of the top 8 teams in the world and losing against each one of them. The previous inspiring victory coming against Sri Lanka in an ODI series. Since then the only team Pakistan have been able to defeat have been teams that now belong to the second leg of international cricket. Pakistan did manage to marginally defeat Bangladesh in their first warm-up game and then came short of answers against India. Only to spring back to life after that loss.
As an entrepreneur or even as an individual, your greatest test lies when faced with adversities. To brave all of them or to be even beaten down by them, endure every obstacle in your path and keep moving forward.
- Lead from the front
The biggest turning point for Pakistan this tournament was the all important game against Sri Lanka. Chasing a mediocre score of 237, Pakistan looked on song initially before they lost 7 wickets for 162 runs with 75 more required to win. It took an inspired performance from their Commander-in-Chief Sarfaraz Ahmed to propel them to victory and change the course for the rest of the tournament.
Being an entrepreneur and a leader, you always have to lead from the front. From time to time your team might slack a little but you’ll always have to deliver and inspire the rest to believe that nothing is unachievable.
An infuriated and frustrated Mickey Arthur, coach of Pakistan cricket team became the most iconic image, to sum up Pakistan’s initial struggle. But the support staff backed their players throughout to see their return at the end with the trophy coming home.
It can get stressful from time to time waiting for things to happen the way you want them to, making you lose focus and the will to keep pursuing what you started. Patience and perseverance are the biggest lessons from this Pakistani team, not just from the players but the management as well. To keep their faith in players and to do their work day in and day out did pay its reward at the end.
While the management played its part, the biggest learning came from the players at the end. Despite being decimated by India in the tournament opener, the intent shown by the players indicated a strong sense of self-belief in every player. They believed that they could rattle team India and bring the trophy home and so they did.
No one will believe in your vision if you yourself constantly keep doubting it. As a leader, while you need to exist in the realm of realism, you can’t for a moment stop believing that all the hard work is for something bigger. It’s that self-belief that rubs on your other team members and infuses a new found sense of determination and will.
It would have been amazing to see the trophy come back home, but Pakistan deserved the win. While the fan in me is saddened, the cricket lover is elated over another well-scripted story of an underdog defying all expectations. Bangladesh had their moment. Afghanistan had their moment. And, now Pakistan has their very own.
Do share with us your views or what their road to glory taught you, in the comments section below!