Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri are ‘indirectly’ responsible for Pakistan’s Champions Trophy triumph
The former cricketers predicted a cakewalk for the Indian team.
Updated - Oct 13, 2017 1:20 pm
As soon as Jasprit Bumrah was dismissed, the party started at the Kennington Oval in London. Thousands of Pakistani supporters were rejoicing their nation’s first triumph at the ICC Champions Trophy, while billions of fans all over the world couldn’t believe what they just witnessed. Sarfraz Ahmed‘s men simply outplayed the hot favourites, and their arch-rivals, India to lift the silverware.
While there hasn’t been any end to the ecstasy for the Pakistani supporters since then, the beginning of the historic journey wasn’t as smooth as the climax. When Ahmed’s men arrived in England around 4 months ago, nobody was courageous enough to put their money on Pakistan. Having the giant sides like India and South Africa in their group, everyone expected Pakistan tofly back home after the group stages.
But they marched on into the knockouts and there hasn’t been any looking back since. Fakhar Zaman’s extraordinary ton, Mohammad Amir’s match-winning spell, Mohammad Hafeez’s late fireworks, the 180-run mammoth victory was an amalgam of all the heroic efforts. But except the ‘on the field’ efforts, there have been a couple of ‘off the field’ incidents which pumped up the Pakistani cricketers.
As it turns out, former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri motivated the players before the encounter. Just like most of the other cricket pundits, Gavaskar and Shastri weren’t ready to accept that the green shirts can put up a spirited performance, which helped the players perform exceedingly well.
“India wrote us off in the final. I was listening to the analysis of Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri and they gave us no chance. That fired up the boys. It was called a no-contest and we were written off. We said let the bat and ball do the talking,” said Talat Ali Malik, who was the manager of the team. “We had quite a bit of luck. Difficult to figure out why India put us in after winning the toss. With our strong bowling attack, once we put decent total on the board, it was going to be tough for India,” he told Cricbuzz.
Talat wants more Indo-Pak games
Many cricket lovers are demanding more India-Pakistan matches, and Talat is no different. “I am told that television channels rate India – Pakistan clash as the third biggest in the world. Football obviously takes the top spot. The coverage of that game in Pakistan was tremendous and I am sure that was the same case in India. I hope we play regularly so that the tension goes off. The more cricket we play, the better it will be. I hope the bilateral series resumes soon,” said the man who has represented his nation 10 times in Test cricket.