Babar Azam's blunt reply to presenter's 1992 WC reference about Imran Khan's 'caged tigers' team talk: 'I just said...'
Pakistan faced a five-wicket loss in the final of the T20 World Cup against England, and the side's skipper Babar Azam spoke in detail about the defeat in Melbourne.
England lifted their second T20 World Cup title on Sunday after the side defeated Pakistan by five wickets at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Jos Buttler-led English team chased down a 138-run target with an over to spare, as Ben Stokes played a match-winning unbeaten knock of 52 off 49 deliveries. Stoke's innings had preceded a brisk Powerplay for England where they scored 49 runs, albeit with the loss of three wickets.
Following the loss, Pakistan captain Babar Azam spoke in detail about the game in the post-match presentation ceremony, and lauded the English team for its emphatic performance on the night.
“Congratulations to England, they deserve to be champions and fought well,” Babar said. The Pakistan skipper also thanked the fans for supporting the side despite its poor start to the tournament, where it lost the first two matches against India and Zimbabwe.
“We feel like home. They come and support us. Definitely, after first two loss, they hurt us but the way the team came back after those defeats was incredible,” said Babar.
The presenter also makes a 1992 ODI World Cup reference in her question to Babar, recalling how Imran Khan told his team to “play like caged tigers" ahead of the final of the tournament, and asked what team-talk did Babar Azam give to his players ahead of the all-important game. To this, Babar said, “I just tried to pass the message that play your natural game. We were 20 runs short, but the way we fought till the last over was unbelievable. Credit to the boys.”
The Pakistan skipper also talked about Shaheen Afridi's injury during the 12th over of the game; Afridi seemingly hurt himself while taking Harry Brook's catch in the run-chase and even as he returned to the field to bowl the 16th over of the innings, Afridi eventually left the field after bowling one delivery.
“Our bowling is one of the best attacks in the world. Unfortunately Shaheen's injury put us off, but that's part of the game,” said Babar.