Pakistan fans, players & pundits reflect on end of ’29 years of hurt’

It turned into a night beyond Pakistan fans’ wildest dreams.

They didn’t just beat India, their greatest rivals, at the Men’s T20 World Cup – they thrashed them in the most emphatic fashion.

It was a win so big, so important, that it reduced captain Babar Azam’s father to tears in the stands.

India had won every meeting between the sides at World Cups before this. In Dubai, “29 years of hurt” were ended.

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“I have seldom in my life felt happiness like this,” said Test Match Special commentator and avid Pakistan fan Aatif Nawaz.

“I can’t think of a single moment I have enjoyed more than this.”

Losing to your biggest rivals once at a World Cup hurts.

The 2007 World T20 final, the 50-over semi-final in 2011, Sachin Tendulkar’s magic in Centurion in 2003 – all might feel just a little better now.

“It was such a remarkable result because nobody expected it to happen in that fashion, to happen so spectacularly,” Nawaz told BBC Sport.

“This win will bring happiness to the whole country, it will put a smile on everyone’s face in such a difficult time.

“The India players were very gracious. It means so, so much. This has spread sheer joy across all of Pakistan.”

Back home, fans watched the game in restaurants, shops and in cinemas. When the winning moment came, people took to the streets to celebrate. Pakistan’s prime minister, the cricket legend Imran Khan, tweeted his congratulations.

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