Cricket : Pakistan Greats Furious After T20 WC Loss To India

Pakistani cricket fans watch the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan on a big screen in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday.


THE TIMID batting of Pakistan’s cricket team has left the country’s former cricketers and fans furious after rivals India snatched a thrilling six-run win in the marquee game at the Twenty20 World Cup in New York.

A second successive loss in Group A on Sunday left Pakistan in danger of not advancing to the Super 8 stage of the tournament being jointly hosted by the US and the West Indies.

The United States, playing at the World Cup for the first time, already made history last Thursday when they beat Pakistan in a Super Over after both teams were locked at 159 during the regulation 20-over game.

Only two teams from each of the four groups advance to the second stage. So Pakistan need to win their remaining games against Canada and Ireland and also hope the results of other group games go in its favour to progress.

“I think I should have a template text ‘disappointed and hurt’ automatically set to be posted,” wrote former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We should give credit to Pakistan. They tried their best to lose this game. I could not think any other way,” Akhtar said on national television’s sports channel PTV Sports. “It was run-a-ball. Nobody asked you to hit and do anything stupid. Shocking, surprised, disappointed, but that was expected.”

‘They won’t change’
Akhtar said Pakistan’s squad was made up of ordinary cricketers and he has no hope the team will get better in the future.

“They won’t change,” he said. “You are demanding extraordinary things from average people. You won’t get it. When mediocrity comes in, you can’t get beyond that. That’s what you are getting from your investment (in cricket) for the last 20 years.”

Akhtar also criticised the International Cricket Council for the drop-in pitches in New York where all five games have been low-scoring ones.

“Who makes that kind of track?” he questioned. “You had one year to prepare yourself. Hello, ICC! Wake up!”

Pakistan blew an ideal opportunity after their fast bowlers had bowled out India for 119 in 19 overs on another tricky surface where batters continued to struggle. They were cruising along at 80-3 in 13 overs when set batter Mohammad Rizwan played a reckless shot against Jasprit Bumrah, and eventually, Pakistan were restricted to 113-7.

Pakistan’s former fast bowling greats Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram, who commentated on the game from New York, also vented their anger after the defeat against India.

“They have been playing cricket for 10 years, and I can’t teach them,” Akram said.

“Rizwan has no game awareness. He should have known Bumrah was given the ball to take wickets and that the wise thing would have been to play his deliveries cautiously, but Rizwan went for the big shot and lost his wicket.”

Younis said it was a horrible performance from the batters.

“Pakistan, if you can’t win this game, what should I say?” he said. “This was given to you on a plate, and Pakistan spilt it. It was a horrible performance by the Pakistan batters. There were a few partnerships in the beginning, but they couldn’t finish the game.”

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