“Pakistan was the underdog coming into the final but there was a feeling of destiny about it”, Hussey wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) describing his first experience on watching the arch-rivals play.
Hussey also praised Pakistani bowlers and opening batsman Fakhar Zaman for their brilliant performances. There was no way back for India, who collapsed to 158 all out with almost 20 overs of the match as they suffered their heaviest defeat by runs in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.
And Arthur believes the triumph would serve as a catalyst in reviving worldwide cricket in Pakistan.
That team could find themselves acting as a “path-finder” for the resumption of tours of Pakistan by major cricket nations.
In March, Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and head of the ICC’s Pakistan task force had said that they want to give Pakistan fans the chance to see the world’s best players in live action.
Pakistan entered the tournament as the lowest ranked team at eighth but wins over India, England and South Africa have boosted their points to 95 which is one more than Bangladesh and two more than Sri Lanka.
The 37-year-old further said that at present, Pakistan have got a team that has the ability to develop into one of the top three teams by the time the 2019 World Cup is played in England.
“So hopefully that starts paving the way for future tours”.
The South Asians arrived in Britain for the eight-team, one-day worldwide tournament as the lowest-ranked side, packed with players still trying to find their feet at the highest level and given little hope of emerging victorious. “In Sarfraz, it now has a captain who can perhaps take the team to unprecedented glory in the years ahead”, he said.
The flamboyant cricketer, nicknamed “Boom Boom Afridi”, further insisted that just like the 1992 World Cup win gave Pakistan a new generation of match winners, this Champions Trophy victory will also put the country’s cricket back on track.
Meanwhile, Arthur paid tribute to Sarfraz’s role as both a tactician and a leader following what was by, the coach’s own admission, a “shambolic” first-up loss to India.
“It needs a lot of guts to do that”, he said.
Kohli, himself renowned for rising to the big occasion, admitted India had been outplayed.
“Pakistan had to earn their win and they made us make mistakes”.