T20 was invented to remove the sense of boringness from Cricket. Earlier, longer formats ended up giving too much edge to stronger teams. Things did improve but not on expected lines. Yes, rivalry increased, but the credit for it mainly goes to social media. Case in point is the upcoming Pakistan vs Zimbabwe match. Somehow Mr. Bean is at the centre of a new rivalry between both countries.
Pakistan vs Zimbabwe on cards
Pakistan and Zimbabwe are coming face to face today on October 27. The venue is Perth. Apart from the boundaries being longer, pitch is also one of the fastest in the world. With pace bowlers like Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi in the ranks, the match was expected to be a cakewalk for the Pakistani team. Zimbabwe, ranked at number 12 does not have enough firepower to beat Pakistan, ranked number 3 in ICCT20 ranking. By conventional wisdom, Pakistan will run through Zimbabwe line-ups.
However, the African nation is not the one which should be taken on a lighter note. It has a history of upsets in big tournaments. In the inaugural edition of the T20 world cup, the team had beaten mighty Aussies composed of players like Ponting, Hayden, Gilchrist, Symonds, Lee among others. This time around, they have got extra motivation to do so against Pakistan.
New rivalry in making
Out of the blue, a Zimbabwe fan has recalled how Pakistan brought national shame to Zimbabwe. It all started when PCB posted a tweet of its players practising for the match against Craig Irvine’s team.
A Zimbabwe fan named Nagugu Chasura replied that Pakistan should pray that rain does not come to save them. According to Chasura, Zimbabweans won’t forgive Pakistanis for fake Mr. Bean. Replying to PCB, Chasura wrote, “As Zimbabweans we won’t forgive you…you once gave us that Fraud Pak Bean instead of Mr Bean Rowan ..we will settle the matter tomorrow just pray the rains will save you…#ZIMVSPAK.”
As Zimbabweans we wont forgive you…you once gave us that Fraud Pak Bean instead of Mr Bean Rowan ..we will settle the matter tommorow just pray the rains will save you…#ZIMVSPAK
Everyone was confused. Finally, a Pak fan asked him about the reasons for his disgruntlement. It turned out that in 2016, Zimbabweans wanted Rowan Atkinson, also known as Mr. Bean to perform at a comedy show. They had made their arrangements for it as well. And then Pakistanis intervened, claiming that they will be sending Mr. Bean to Harare Agricultural show. When Zimbabweans asked how would Pakistan send Mr. Bean when the man is in London, Pakistanis somehow convinced them about Rowan’s eventual arrival.
Mr. Bean did arrive in Zimbabwe, but it was only a doppelganger. Actually, Pakistan has its own version of Mr. Bean. His name is Asif Muhammad. Apart from his body shape, Asif completely resembles Rowan Atkinson, the original Mr. Bean. Icing on the cake is that like Rowan, he is also a professional comedian, doing similar unconventional acts on the lines of Mr. Bean. During the show, he even mimicked Mr. Bean’s mannerisms and for quite some time, the crowd could not differentiate between both. He even caused traffic jams through his roadshow.
REMEMBERING ‘MR BEAN’ in HARARE _ In Zimbabwe, September 03 2016, they invited a pakistani comedian, Mr. Pak Bean who's real name is Asif Muhammad and he really, really does look like Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson). He headlined a comedy show at HICC pic.twitter.com/uSK6FeJVfH
However, the comedy show, main reason for calling Mr. Bean did not live up to expectations. People just could not connect to mannerism. Even authorities knew that Asif won’t be a star and that is why he did not get any solo act and was just a sideshow. Auditorium was almost empty with a few children clapping here and there.
Zimbabweans are angry
Naturally, Zimbabweans were fumed. Time has not curtailed their anger. Pakistani fans did try to calm their anger by offering Ahmed Shehzad, their version of Virat Kohli in return.
Few Pakistanis apologised while others tried to settle the score by telling Chusara that Pakistan has given them Sikandar Raja, a key player of current Zimbabwe team. One even tried to console Zimbabweans by saying that at least he was 50 per cent Mr. Bean.
I apologise on behalf of our country but please be easy on our team tomorrow 🙏, we can’t beat another loss
All those tweets did not prove to be enough to calm down the anger of Zimbabweans, especially Chusara. Now, it is upon their players to take revenge. But one thing got clear. Pakistanis do not discriminate on the basis of distance. They are bad for their immediate neighbours as well as countries located 1000s of kilometres away.
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