It has been almost 10 years since international cricket was last played on Pakistani soil. Yes, I'm aware that Zimbabwe popped over in 2015, but that doesn't really count.
The big boys just won't go there to play.
India won't because of politics. The rest of the world won't due to security fears.
But despite this, Pakistan in the last 12 months rose to number 1 in the Test rankings and won the ICC Champions Trophy.
But many of us Westerers have no idea what makes Pakistan cricket tick. Why is it so contageous. Why the only team that can beat Pakistan is Pakistan itself.
So, without the tick of approval from my wife, I'm off to the land of the Green Shirts to document what it is that draws me to love this cricketing culture and people so much.
I want to answer why, that despite the stereotype that it is an unsafe place full of mudering extremists (that mind you, we see in the UK, France and USA on an almost daily basis), we should find a way to get international cricket back to Pakistan.
I will be making a feature length documentary from the footage.
I will speak with players, administrators and most importantly the fans.
I want to hit a ball over the Line of Control into India. I might hit one into China as well. I want to ask Wasim about Qayyum. I want to ask Najam Sethi about security. I want to ask the fans about Boom Boom and Hafiz and Younis and Javed Miandad.
I want to sing Dil Dil Pakistan in a crowded mall and wear my "Sachin Who" shirt to a local match.
I want to experience this:
I want to eat the food, breathe the air, see the mountains, play gully cricket and rejoice in all that is Pakistan.
I want to do push ups with Misbah.
Insha allah, I've planned to come late September through to early October.
I'm looking to raise $10k at a minimum.
I'm doing this as I want others that share this passion to feel directly connected to this project. To know that they can help make this change happen.
To know that we all need to unite to bring international cricket back to Pakistan.
This money will cover my flights, accomodation, food, visa fees, camera man costs, internal travel, etc. I just don't want to find myself short given I've got one chance to get this right.
So if you can help in any way, I will be eternally grateful. Every dollar helps.
If you can sponsor flights or accomodation or provide access to people or anything at all, please message me.
Anyone who donates will have their name forever captured in the credits of the film as a thank you.
Finally, and I think this is important. If, for whatever reason I cannot make it to Pakistan and you have donated, I will refund your money. I am not here to rip anyone off.
Let's get international cricket back to Pakistan!
- Praboda Devasirie
- Ziad Bashir