Shoaib Akhtar blames knee, Waqar Younis for Pakistan’s loss to India in 2003 World Cuphttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/shoaib-akhtar-pakistan-india-2003-world-cup-5881838/

Shoaib Akhtar blames knee, Waqar Younis for Pakistan’s loss to India in 2003 World Cup

Shoaib Akhtar has posted a video on his YouTube channel where he admitted that India outplayed Pakistan in the match and his fitness and poor captaincy from then skipper Waqar Younis came in Pakistan's way of registering their first-ever win over India at the World Cup.

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India had beaten Pakistan in the group-stage match during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. (EXPRESS ARCHIVE)

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is making headlines again with his latest revelation from his cricketing career. The fast bowler has now spoken up about the 2003 World Cup match against India in Centurion which Pakistan lost by 6 wickets, blaming his captain and his poor match fitness for the loss.

Akhtar’s latest video on his YouTube channel features him admitting that India outplayed Pakistan in the match. But then he goes on to say that his fitness and poor captaincy from then skipper Waqar Younis also came in Pakistan’s way of registering their first-ever win against India at the World Cup. In the group-stage match played on March 1, 2003 at Centurion in South Africa, the Pakistan team failed to defend a target of 274. India rode on Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant 98 to chase down the target with more than four overs to spare.

“The most disappointing match for me in my entire career was the 2003 World Cup match against India at Centurion. We had failed to defend a target of 274 despite having a very good bowling line-up,” said Akhtar.

Akhtar also said that on the night before the match, he had to take 4-5 injections on his left knee due to which it had become numb.

“Because of the injections water had filled up in my left knee and there was no sensation in it,” he said.

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“After the end of our innings, I told my teammates that we have probably scored 30-40 runs less. However, all the players in the team shouted at me saying if ‘273 is not enough then what is’. They said we will be able to get India all out. However, I knew that the pitch was a good one for batting and it will remain so in the second innings as well.

“When we started the bowling, I noticed that my left knee had gone numb. Because of which, I wasn’t able to run properly through my bowling run-up. As a result, I was not able to bowl properly. Indian openers, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, went for the charge from the word go. In fact, Sachin played me very well and even hit me for a six over point,” he said.

“It was a bitter experience for me because we could have defeated India, both in 1999 and 2003, but we couldn’t. Not to take the credit away from India who have played us exceeding well at the World Cups,” Akhtar, a veteran of 46 Tests and 163 ODIs, said.

Watch the video:

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