Shoaib Akhtar shares his sentiments following Pakistan team Asia Cup elimination
Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his feelings following Pakistan's elimination from the 2023 Asia Cup. Pakistan was knocked out after their defeat to Sri Lanka during the Super Four stage in Colombo on Thursday.
However, Akhtar had words of praise for the emerging Pakistani pacer, Zaman Khan, who joined the squad due to injuries to Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Akhtar commended Khan's exceptional performance.
Referring to the match, Akhtar stated, "You've seen the match. Pakistan is out of the tournament. The match that seemed in Pakistan's favor was all thanks to Zaman Khan. He played a crucial role in giving Pakistan a chance to win. Although Shaheen Afridi also contributed with some wickets, the credit primarily goes to Zaman.
He bowled exceptionally well," Akhtar shared on his YouTube channel. Akhtar acknowledged Pakistan's rightful place in the Asia Cup final but admitted that Sri Lanka outperformed them on the crucial day. He mentioned, "Pakistan deserved to be in the Asia Cup final, but they are now out of the tournament. They will face significant criticism, as they were considered the 'favorites.'
Unfortunately, there won't be a Pakistan vs. India match in the final, which has never happened before. This was the opportunity, but Sri Lanka deserves to be in the finals," he added. In the wake of this disheartening defeat, Akhtar described it as 'embarrassing' and called on Babar Azam's team to regroup, tighten their preparations, and gear up for the upcoming ODI World Cup, scheduled to begin next month.
He concluded by saying, "Having said that, this is a very embarrassing loss. Pakistan's elimination is disappointing, and there's much for Pakistan to ponder. The captaincy needs improvement. I am deeply disappointed; there's not much more to say."