Over the years batsmen from all around the world have celebrated centuries by raising their bat, taking off their head gear and waving it towards the pavilion. The more enthusiastic/passionate ones make it a point to leap or hug their partner or sprint to several yards in jubilation.
Generally batsmen from around the world, at least the leading ones, think that the only milestone that is worth celebrating is a century, and most of the time the half-centuries are not rated as an extraordinary achievement.
Former Australian opening batsman Mark Taylor once said that his only aim was to score a century every time he strode out to bat for his country.
The Pakistanis, of late, have found it extremely hard to reach three figures in any format of the game. But my God they have a knack of celebrating the half-centuries and then overdoing their act almost every time, as if they have sealed their place in the team for at least one full series by scoring the fifty runs.
While there is nothing wrong in thanking the Almighty, there sure is a problem when the players get dismissed a few moments after reaching their half-century, mainly owing to the exhaustion caused by their over-the top-celebrations! This includes removal of the helmet, a bow to the Almighty, a warm hug of the batting partner and an endless waving of the bat to each of the players/staff members present inside the pavilion.
For instance, the talented Umar Akmal was over the moon after he completed his half-century in the third ODI against England last Saturday. Just as he was going through the celebration rituals, one feared the demise of his innings was nigh! And the youngest of the Akmal brothers didn’t disappoint. He failed to add a single run to his score of fifty as he offered a straight-forward catch to England’s Samit Patel at mid-wicket!
Similarly, during the Test series held earlier, Taufiq Umar and Adnan Akmal perished almost immediately after attaining the dizzying heights of scoring a Test fifty in the first Test of the series at Dubai. In fact, just like the ‘doosra’ and ‘reverse swing’ it is fair to say that the ‘over the top celebration ritual’ is another one of the Pakistani gifts to the cricketing world.