“We still do well because of the vast raw talent we have at home”, he said.
His words spurted out hurriedly, urgently, nearly desperately. The issues he raised in that press conference, though, weren’t problems that cricketers could solve. In comes Pakistan Super League and Pakistan got Rumman Raees knocking at the doors of worldwide cricket. It cuts out the possibility of transitioning new players into the team in familiar surroundings.
“I wish our hockey team all the best”.
Sarfraz, who came out to bat at number six with the scoreboard reading 110 for four, returned unbeaten on 61 from 79 balls with five fours.
The country’s powerful army promptly congratulated the cricket team for its victory over India, but at the same time reinforced the nationalistic narratives about India, Kashmir and Baluchistan. “Today we are struggling in both sports”, he said. They’d also lost Afridi, whatever role he fit in that team.
Following Sunday’s game, some Pakistani TV channels were at the forefront of “India bashing”.
“Now these guys know that if they perform at the PSL they’ll be in the national team, it won’t just be up to the whims of the selectors”, he said.
Fakhar was picked as Dhawan’s opening partner after he aggregated 252 runs in four matches at a strike-rate of 113, with scores of 31 against South Africa, 50 against Sri Lanka, 57 against England in the semi-final and 114 against India in the final. That, coming into this tournament, the entire Pakistan squad of fifteen had scored fewer runs against the white ball than Dhoni, Kohli and Yuvraj.
Bottom-ranked Pakistan produced a breathtaking display at London’s Oval on Sunday in the climax of a tournament featuring the world’s top eight one-day global nations. “It has been an ultra-quick turnaround from no-hopers to champions for the Pakistan players and the manner in which the team won the match was really impressive”, said Afridi in a column for ICC.
Then he sang a victory jingle about Pakistan’s breathtaking win and prompted the crowd with chants of “Long live Pakistan” before finally retiring back inside.
Sarfraz paid tribute to the influence of a coaching staff led by Mickey Arthur, who took charge shortly before Pakistan’s tour of England a year ago, where a Test series was shared but the ODI campaign lost 4-1.
And let’s be clear, this team going to struggle to find consistency for a while yet.
“We have to identify the players we want to take forward”. “These two lads, plus Shadab Khan, are the future of Pakistan cricket and I sincerely hope they will only go in the upward direction from here”, he added.