Bengaluru, May 31: If Pakistan's on-field problems were not enough for captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, there were more to add off it too. The skipper of the Men in Green, who had lifted the trophy last time a major event was played in England, joined the 10 other captains in fray of this year's ICC Cricket World Cup to visit the Buckingham Palace on the eve of the first match to meet the queen.
However, Sarfaraz decided to do something the others did not and it was about wearing a Salwar Kamiz - Pakistan's traditional dress - for the occasion.
Hell broke loose after the 32-year-old "broke the protocol". Questions were being raised over the propriety on wearing such an attire at a formal occasion. Veteran Pakistani-born Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah even ridiculed Sarfaraz to the extent of saying that he could wear a Topi-Lungi-Banyan costume.
Luckily, Sarfaraz found support from the fans - not only from Pakistan but also India. And rightly so. Cricketers are not bureaucrats that they have to wear formal suit without fail.
As ambassadors of their respective countries and cultures, sportspersons can choose to wear something that they know to carry well and look decent. Sarfaraz's dressing sense was not offensive from any angle and if that could add to the diversity of the game's biggest event, nothing like it.
A perfect stance on the soil of the former colonisers
Sarfaraz's dress was even more apt as it was on the soil of the Englishmen, the rule-makers of the gentlemen's world. The countries that play cricket today were once colonised and ruled by the British Empire and learnt the game from them.
Way to go Sarfaraz! Check out PIA's pride, our very own captain looking handsome as ever in our national dress and we wish the best of luck to team Pakistan! Break a leg! #PIA #CWC19 @SarfarazA_54 pic.twitter.com/zfxdPYlIsQ— PIA (@Official_PIA) May 30, 2019
Wearing a suit and tie is also reflective of the same culture and tradition. If Sarfaraz, whose country was divided by the same British 71 years ago on political grounds, chose to wear an ethnic dress on their soil, it is a perfect anti-colonial statement even if it is on the occasion of the World Cup.