Pakistan cricket reunites friends from Lahore, Boston in UK

They applied for tickets for all of Pakistan's fixtures, except for the one against India at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Usman, Feroze Shah, Rida Qadri, Shmyla Khan have travelled to England to witness Pakistan live at the venues.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Shmyla Khan has only heard stories about Pakistan’s iconic World Cup win in 1992. A die-hard cricket fan, she was just three when Imran Khan’s men brought the trophy home.

She, of course, doesn’t have memories from that historic final. But the 30-year-old, who now works with the Digital Rights Foundation in Lahore, remembers how her dad would tell her bedtime stories about Imran and his men.

This time, Shmyla, along with her friends -- Rida Qadri and Feroze Shah -- travelled to England, wearing the 1992 colours, to live their dream and cheer for Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men.

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Shmyla Khan and her friends soak in the atmosphere during a Pakistan match.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

“I got the jersey stitched by a friend in Lahore…” Shmyla says with a smile.

While she is based in Lahore, Rida and Feroze -- who got married a couple of years ago -- are settled in Boston. The three have been friends since college, and they caught up again during the World Cup. Another friend, Usman, had joined them for the trip, but went back home after a few games.

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“We planned this trip long ago. The idea was to be there for the Pakistan games and cheer for the team,” Rida says. “In summer, some of the friends decided to put their name in the ballot, we decided to go for the tickets too…” Rida says.

They applied for all of Pakistan’s games, except for the one against India. “Because no one wants to experience that heartbreak…,” Rida says.

But initially they got approval for the games against New Zealand and Afghanistan. “That was not a problem. We got tickets for the match against South Africa on re-sale… It was super fun,” Rida says.

When the friends gathered in London, they were hopeful of Pakistan clinching the title. But that did not happen, as the team's hopes of reaching the last-four crashed at Lord’s on Friday.