In just a few days, the 15th of February will see the opening of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 held in Australia, and first match is potentially the most anticipated and intense face-off between arch rivals Pakistan and India in South-Australia’s capital Adelaide. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, you are going to be glued to the television as this seminal match kicks-off the hotly-anticipated series.

Every Pakistani whose a cricket enthusiast knows about the last time the world cup was held in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, that was the year our team made history and brought home the World Cup trophy under Imran Khan’s captaincy. Apart from that triumph our heroes in green have done pretty well in the rest of the world cup tournaments both before and after.

Considering our last world cup match played in Australia, people of Pakistan all over the world have very high hopes from our men in green. Pakistan’s traditional strength as we all know comes from the bowling line-up but this time due to some very unfortunate and badly-timed injuries some of our front-line bowlers will not be in the starting line-up. Junaid Khan, a promising and fairly new talent in our fast bowlers has suffered a hamstring injury and has been ruled out of the World cup matches and also the controversy about Muhammad Hafeez and his bowling stance-being one of the best spinners in the game Hafeez needs to be cleared by the ICC board so he can do what he does best for his national team: drop wickets.

But, all hope is still not lost as we Pakistani’s tend to stick to our own in every hardship and pray and look for the positive. Our first beacon of hope is our 7-foot beast of a bowler, Muhammad Irfan who has been blessed with ideal pitches and weather condition to scare the sh*t out of any batsman who faces him. The 32-year-old giant can produce staggering bouncers and perfect length bowling, and has so far picked up 57 wickets in 40 One Day Internationals with an average of 29.92.

Our other beacon is the one and only LALA aka BOOM BOOM aka Mr. Shahid Afridi — the world known brilliant all-rounder who has shown the whole world the super power he possesses to turn the tide in any match against any one in both batting and bowling. Afridi destroyed New Zealand when he scored 67 runs from 29 balls, showing what he’s really capable of. Afridi has been representing the color green for about 18 years now in which he has brought his team back from the ashes to the top by annihilating the bowling line-ups of several teams.

After 18 years of service to the people of Pakistan, by becoming a permanent part of the country and its sports history LALA has announced that this tournament would be his last after which he will be retiring. As sad as that sounds (and maybe even gets a lot of girls to lose interest in the game) we can’t stop our patriotic support of our cricket idol. This may very well be the main factor that might drive men in green to do what they do best. WIN!

Pakistan’s Line-up

Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt.), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz. (ICC)