Defying all the odds, Pakistan thumped the defending champions India to clinch their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title. Riding on Fakhar Zaman’s knock of 114 and a dominating performance with the ball, Pakistan trounced India by 180 runs, helping them lift their first 50-over ICC Tournament trophy in 25 years.
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif posted a video on Youtube, where he congratulates the Pakistan cricket team for their accomplishment. “Will like to congratulate Pakistan cricket team, Hafeez ji ko.” he said
Pakistan last toured India in 2012, where they trounced India 2-1 in a three-match ODI series. Since then there has not been any bilateral series between the two nations. Thus the ICC tournaments continue to be the only occasions where the two teams play each other.
“There is no answer to this win. It is itself a big reply to all the critics. India and Pakistan should play together as Asia is the biggest market for the world. Tournaments like Ashes or any other tournament is not big enough than India-Pakistan matches. Even ICC knows and thus they don’t let a bilateral series happen between the two countries. We have Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan. These are the teams which dominate in Cricket World. There should be bilateral series, IPL should consist of Pakistan players while Indian players should be a part of PSL”.
Veteran Virender Sehwag in his tweets had said that after defeating Bangladesh, India will defeat Pakistan (Beta). Replying to Sehwag’s tweets, Latif said “Nobody is anyone’s father or son. Everybody loves cricket. From where did the father-son relation come from? This was something you guys were narrating and we (Pakistan) would like to end it.”
India started their quest to defend the title against Pakistan, where they beat their arch-rivals by 124 runs. Defying all odds, Pakistan made it to the final with wins over South Africa, Sri Lanka and England.
“In this Champions Trophy, we lost in one match and now India lost in the final. This is a part of cricket and this happens in sports. I request senior players like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammad Azharuddin. This is a list which seems never ending. I would like to congratulate Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya. Jadeja, Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh. Harbhajan Singh has had helped Pakistan a lot in the past,” Latif added.
Coming into the final, India were considered as the title contenders. However, Pakistan outplayed the Virat Kohli-led side with sheer dominance with the ball and a hundred by Fakhar Zaman.
Rashid, who played 166 ODIs for Pakistan and scored 1709 runs, believes Azhar Ali’s knock will be remembered for a long time. However, he was critical about the way media played it roles. He said “It was the first time that there were two India-Pakistan matches going on. On one side, India-Pakistan were playing on field while there was another match was going on the social networking sites. Both the countries are cricket-mad nations, the more they play together the more profit they will make. If Fakhar Zaman had scored a hundred against any other team, it would have meant something else. Azhar Ali’s innings will be remembered for a longer time.”
This is a gesture from Pakistan and I would wait for a gesture from India, either from Sehwag, or Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor. We grew up watching his movies like Bobby. We respect Indians and we expect the same from our neighbours. There is love between the two nations, however, a situation is made which benefits media.
The Men in Blue were into their second edition final on the trot whereas Pakistan made into the final of the Champions Trophy for the first time. The 48-year old former wicketkeeper wishes to see a bilateral series between the two teams.
“I expect India-Pakistan senior players will talk to bring back cricket between the two nations. India team is number one and can improve a lot. Congratulations for playing the final, hoping for more India-Pakistan matches. The way Sarfraz led the entire team, passion they showed was phenomenal,” he concluded.