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Ahead of the big ICC Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan at the Oval in London, former Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail has created a storm by inferring Pakistan have reached the final due to ‘external factors’. Speaking to a Pakistan news channel, Sohail stated that the team captained by Sarfraz Ahmed have no reason to rejoice as it is the external factors that have helped them into the final on Sunday. Pakistan had beaten England in a surprising result to book their place in the final.
Sohail, remembered most iconically for his confrontation with Venkatesh Prasad in the 1996 World Cup, 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. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not based on on-field performance. The boys now need to be level-headed and focus on playing good cricket.”
Pakistan had beaten England in the semi-final in what came as a stunning reversal of fortunes and events after the hosts had begun the tournament with three straight wins in the group stages. On the other hand, Pakistan needed plenty of luck on their side to get past South Africa under D/L method and then Sri Lanka’s terrible fielding in the virtual quarterfinal handed them the passage into the knockout stages.
Pakistan have made their first foray into a Champions Trophy final and are looking to add to their previous ICC titles in 1992 World Cup and 2009 World T20.