Pakistan, World Cup final and ‘Qudrat Ka Nizam’

Published November 13, 2022
Mathew Hayden watches as Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq speaks during training in Melbourne on November 11. — AFP
Mathew Hayden watches as Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq speaks during training in Melbourne on November 11. — AFP

When Saqlain Mushtaq, in that famous press conference last month, dropped his Qudrat Ka Nizam line, he was ridiculed for trying to sidestep and almost justify his team’s cricketing failure by linking it with force of nature.

It turns out that the bearded spin maestro was delivering another one of his doosras. A month later, his mini phrase has a cult following and pretty much defines not only Pakistan’s run to the final but also everything that lies ahead.

In fact, if you look closely and in the right places, you’d find that the all-encompassing Qudrat line has been the primary theme of the World Cup. How else would you explain Pakistan being a match away from becoming world champions today when up until a few days ago they were a match away from flying back home? That’s Qudrat Ka Nizam for you.

How else would you explain Zimbabwe avenging the embarrassment of falling for a fake Mr Bean by almost knocking Pakistan out of the tournament? How else would you explain Pakistan coming back from the dead, thanks to an alley-oop dished by the Netherlands of all the teams? And what scientific logic is there for South Africa to annihilate India but fall to the Dutch?

And what of Pakistan keeping the 1992 narrative alive? And what of a playground bully helplessly watching its players fly off home after a historically embarrassing defeat? The karmic yet random, unfathomable yet justified absurdity of it all is what Saqqi meant with Qudrat Ka Nizam.

Read: Pak vs Eng: Five things to know ahead of winner-takes-all World Cup final

The beauty of it all is that if it rains all day today and tomorrow, even then it’s Qudrat Ka Nizam at work — although a bit too literally.

And if cricket does happen, and Pakistan win, that’s Qudrat ka Nizam too, because if a flood-hit country that is in the midst of a financial and political crisis somehow emerges as the best in the world at cricket, surely Mother Nature is by its side.

But then if script is flipped and England were to triumph, guess what? We will still get a bailout because that’s just Qudrat ka Nizam.

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