Cricketer-turned-expert Shoaib Akhtar has appealed to the Pakistan fans to support the team after their five-wicket loss to Australia in the semi-final of the 20-20 World Cup. The Babar Azam-led team could not defend 176, as Matthew Wade dashed their hopes of lifting the second title by smashing three sixes of Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Before the bitter loss, Pakistan were the only unbeaten in the competition. The Men in Green won five games in the Super 12 stage and ticked all the boxes. Against Australia, they floundered and just could not close out the game. Like many Pakistan fans, Akhtar too was bitterly disappointed by the loss and expressed his unhappiness. However, he requested the fans to take the loss sportingly.
“There is a lot to learn from this game. I am thoroughly disappointed and heartbroken. This World Cup should have been ours,” said Shoaib on his Youtube channel. “It is terrible, my feelings are with you but we can’t be bad losers. We are going to accept this defeat with open arms and broken hearts. We have done well. Pakistan team I am with you, it’s ok.”
“I request the whole nation to stay behind the team and support them. They have done wonderfully well. I would’ve loved to see this World Cup in our soil but unfortunately, it’s out of our hands,” said Shoaib.
Pacer Hasan Ali faced a lot of backlash on social media for his dropped catch of Matthew Wade in the penultimate over the innings. Akhtar backed Ali to come back stronger from the loss but also admitted that the catch could have made a difference.
“Hasan Ali, bring your confidence back, we have a lot to play with. He messed it up but it’s fine. Maybe that catch would have made a difference,” he said.
Australia will now face New Zealand in the finals of the 20-20 World Cup on Sunday (November 14).