Kolkata: India’s thumping win over Bangladesh in the second semi-final assured to all of us that the final of the Champions Trophy is going to be contested between India and Pakistan.
Perhaps this is one of the greatest ever moments for Pakistan cricket as they are on the brink of making history if they can outplay the defending champions on the biggest stage.
Right when it looked that things are set for a revival in Pakistan cricket, former cricketer Aamir Sohail’s comments raised an eyebrow or two after he said that Sarfaraz Ahmed and his team were helped by, ‘external factors’ in their march to the finals.
Speaking to a Pakistani news channel where former skipper Javed Miandad was also present he had said, “Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you win the game. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to be so happy. We all know what happens behind the scenes. Don’t wish to get into the details on who won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God has won them the games.”
However, in a quick turn of events, he quickly tried to tried to cover up his earlier comments saying that he was misunderstood. He clarified his stand saying that he had said these things because Sarfaraz did not dedicate his match-winning performance against Sri Lanka to former captain and coach Javed Miandad as the latter criticises the team a lot.
According to the Dawn, Sohail said, “My comments were made after I heard reports of Sarfaraz’s refusal to dedicate his performance against Sri Lanka to Miandad and him saying that Miandad criticises the team too much.The other thing I said was that the facilitators of the win cannot be named. However, I said nothing about match-fixing or any other foul play – my statement was misunderstood.”
Pakistan indeed left the cricketing world stunned when they beat the hosts and favourites England in the first semi-final to book a place in the final of the Champions Trophy. The bowlers led by Hasan Ali did well to restrict the mighty English side to just 211 after which fantastic knocks from newfound opener Fakhar Zaman and veteran Azhar Ali ensured a win which helped them book a ticket to Kennington Oval for the finals.
They would now meet India, a team which has already beaten them in the tournament earlier, in the finals of the Champions Trophy at the Kennington Oval on Sunday.