While the entire world battles to save its citizens and economy from the lethal coronavirus, one country, New Zealand, with its single casualty and no new case for weeks, has emerged as a prime example of how to tackle a global pandemic, effectively. Its leader, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has credited this success to the important lessons her country learned from their embarrassing defeat to Pakistan in the semifinal of the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
“Sure, you could say implementing a strict lockdown while closing borders before any other country in the world, ramping up testing, adopting emerging best practices, data analysis and the use of common sense helped, but the real meat of the strategy came from the wisdom gained as a result of that thrashing at Eden Park, Auckland 22 years ago at the hands of eleven ‘cornered tigers”, commented PM Ardern during a Zoom interview with The Dependent.
Prime Minister Imran Khan endorsed PM Ardern’s comments, tweeting, “Yeah… I know!”
Later, the same day, following a cabinet meeting on the coronavirus, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz disclosed that a decision had been taken to bill New Zealand to the tune of $350 million for ‘benefits gained through consultative services provided by Pakistan Cricket Team under Imran Khan’. This would be in addition to the aid for Coronavirus that will be demanded separately, Shibli clarified.
The following day during a second government telethon, an elderly Pakistani-origin New Zealander asked a question of PM Khan regarding the country’s significantly higher death toll, number of infections and overall lackluster performance as compared to New Zealand, to which the PM simply smiled and answered, “much to learn, you still have, young padawan”.
The exchange was followed by reporters looking confusingly at each other murmuring, “did he just…”, “yoda…” “Star Wars…Really?” .