Shoaib Akhtar 'hurt and disappointed' seeing Pakistan succumb to USA: 'We created history again…' | Crickit

Shoaib Akhtar 'hurt and disappointed' seeing Pakistan succumb to USA: 'We created history again…'

Jun 07, 2024 11:22 AM IST

Shoaib Akhtar reacted to Pakistan's loss to the USA at the T20 World Cup comparing it to the 1999 Bangladesh World Cup debacle.

The pain on Shoaib Akhtar's face mirrored the entire nation of Pakistan as the 2009 T20 World Cup champions were dealt a body blow by the United States of America during their Group A match in Dallas on Thursday. After the match went into the Super Over with both teams finishing on identical scores of 159, Saurabh Netravalkar of Indian-origin defended 19 to guide USA to an epic five-run win.

Shoaib Akhtar (R) was pained to see Pakistan go down to USA (Getty-Agency)
Shoaib Akhtar (R) was pained to see Pakistan go down to USA (Getty-Agency)

Like many other former Pakistan cricketers, Akhtar was left shattered by the outcome. In a short video, the former speedster lamented that Babar Azam and his team once again became part of an unwanted piece of history 25 years after Pakistan's 1999 World Cup defeat against Bangladesh, a game Akhtar himself was a part of.

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"Very disappointing loss for Pakistan. Didn't offer good start. Losing to USA… we created [unwanted] history like we did against Bangladesh in the 1999 World Cup. Unfortunately, Pakistan never deserved to win. Reason why USA played extremely well. They were in a commanding position. Amir saved the match. He and Shaheen tried. Unfortunately, we couldn't pull it off," Akhtar said.

Akhtar wasn't the only one saddened by the result. Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal lashed out at Babar and his men, calling the outcome an insult.

"The biggest insult for Pakistan cricket is losing the game in the Super Over. There can't be a bigger insult than this. The USA played exceptionally well. They didn't feel like a low-ranked side. It felt like they were ranked above Pakistan. That is the level of maturity they showed," Akmal said on his YouTube channel.

The T20 World Cup, during its previous eight editions, has witnessed a fair share of upsets but none quite as shocking as this. Results such as Zimbabwe defeating Australia in 2007 and the Netherlands beating England in 2009 have their own place in history, but the fact that an associate team managed to defeat two-time World Cup winners ranks right up in the list of biggest cricketing upsets of all time, let alone in World Cups.

What's with Pakistan and upsets?

This is the second consecutive T20 World Cup in which Pakistan has been defeated. Two years ago, they suffered a narrow one-run defeat from Zimbabwe in the group stage, and even though Pakistan recovered brilliantly to reach the final, it was a painful experience nonetheless. However, that seems like a much better result now in retrospect, given the polar opposite cricket history in Zimbabwe and the USA.

The defeat to USA has landed Pakistan's T20 World Cup campaign in turmoil. Their next game is against tournament favourites India, whom they defeated in the 2021 T20 World Cup but have lost to them twice since – once in the 2022 Asia Cup and then during the 2022 T20 World Cup in Melbourne. After the blockbuster clash against India, Pakistan's next opponents are Canada, followed by a game against Ireland, a team they lost to in a T20I just last month.

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