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No regrets over bowling first against India, says Sarfaraz Ahmed after not following Imran Khan’s advice

He also opened up on the fans abusing players.

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has finally broken his silence on why he did not bat first after winning the toss against India in Manchester. The pitch was nothing less than a paradise for the batsmen but Sarfaraz sprung a big surprise by deciding to bowl first. Pakistan went on to lose the game and the captain faced heavy backlash from his compatriots. What made things worse for him was that he did not pay heed to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s suggestion.

Before the start of the game, the 1992 World Cup-winning captain had advised Pakistan to bat first if he wins the toss in a tweet. But after being invited to bat, India fully capitalised on it and batted the arch-rivals out of the game. Rohit Sharma’s sizzling century and contributions from other batsmen helped India post 336 runs on the board.

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In reply, Pakistan failed miserably with the bat. Barring the brief period when Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman added 104 runs for the second wicket, the reigning Champions Trophy holders never looked like beating India. They eventually ended up on a modest 212 for 6 in 40 overs and lost the game by 89 runs (DLS method).

Sarfaraz Ahmed over the toss controversy

Sarfaraz Ahmed, in the pre-match press conference, made it clear that he does not have any regret whatsoever over his decision to bowl first. He said that before the World Cup he had interacted with PM Imran Khan and the latter had asked him to take decisions as per the conditions. He also went on to say that the pitch and the outfield was wet which is why they decided to bowl with a hope to get some help with the new ball early on.

Sarfaraz also opened up on the sick abuses that have been directed towards the players and their families after the defeat. He urged the fans not to abuse the players and drag their families in the controversies.

“Criticise us on our game, that’s not an issue, but don’t abuse us. Their families get affected. If someone is hitting, then pushing anyone that’s not good. Our fans are emotional and these same people lift us when we win. But if they feel sad on a defeat we also feel the same way. We feel it much more because we are playing for Pakistan,” said the under-fire Pakistan skipper.

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