LAHORE: According to the year-end trends reported by Google, cricket remained the primary cause of elation in Pakistan in the pandemic-hit 2020 as six of the top 10 searches for the year referred to the sport.
“Pakistan vs England” was Pakistan’s top search object on the world’s largest search engine. The third most-searched theme was “Zimbabwe vs Pakistan,” while “PSL 2020” was sixth in the list, with “Coronavirus” at number two.
India vs New Zealand”, “England vs Australia and England vs West Indies” were the other three trends in cricket-mad Pakistan in the seventh, eighth and ninth positions respectively.”
During August-September, the Pakistan men’s team toured British shores in difficult conditions to play three tests and as many T20Is in bio-secure circumstances, a development that played an integral role in the resumption of cricketing activities across the globe.
The tour attracted considerable traction in the press and social media within Pakistan, with it being the only major sporting activity in which in the post-lockdown months a national side was involved.
Supported by a decrease in Covid-19 percent positive, a ratio of positive cases to the overall number of tests, the Pakistan Cricket Board became the first board worldwide to declare a full domestic season in September.
As such, the board hosted the Zimbabwe men’s team for a six limited overs fixtures in Rawalpindi, which included three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches, and most sought-after T20 cricketers for the playoffs and final of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 in Karachi, including former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.
The change paid dividends in drawing the population to the game, illustrated by the inclusion of both activities in the most searched Google list.
The board intends to host 260 matches in the 2020-21 season following the declaration of the South African men’s team’s country tour for two tests in three T20Is early next year of which 154 matches were delivered with the completion of the seventh round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on Friday.