Pakistan media hail victory against India, call for more bilateral ties
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Pakistan media hail victory against India, call for more bilateral ties

Pakistan beat India by 180 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday to complete the ICC treble and the media was full of praise for the side’s biggest victory in the ODI format since the World Cup in 1992.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 19, 2017 14:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,India vs Pakistan
Pakistan handed India a 180-run drubbing to win the ICC Champions Trophy final.(AFP)

It was a historic night for Pakistan cricket at The Oval on Sunday as they beat India by 180 runs to clinch their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title and complete the ICC treble, having won the World Cup in 1992 and the World T20 trophy in 2009.

To a few, this was a victory over India in an ICC tournament after nearly eight years, and that it came in the final of a tournament was the icing on the cake. However, what has actually made this victory all the more memorable for the country is perhaps that they came into the tournament as the least ranked side, experts had written them off.

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They had to somehow earn the qualification surpassing West Indies in the rankings and yet they won, and won it in style. Naturally, Pakistan media was full of praise for the team to have pulled off such a victory.

The front page of Pakistan’s Express Tribune. (Express Tribune)

The Pakistan media, too, hailed the victory with a few urging the two to engage in more bilateral ties as tension on the border and between the governments have limited such clashes to only ICC tournaments or multi-nation competitions.

READ | How the Kashmiri media reacted to Pakistan’s ICC Champions Trophy win

The Express Tribune also quoted former Pakistan cricketers like Salahuddin and Saeed Ajmal who stated that the sport might actually help ease tension and work towards better relations between the two nations. “Fans across the border get to interact with each other and that not only helps build relations on an individual level but it also helps soften the image of the two countries in their minds,” Express Tribune quoted Salahuddin as saying.

Express Tribune quoted former players who urged for resumption of bilateral series. (Express Tribune)

Unlike the World Cup where India has a 6-0 advantage over Pakistan, the latter hold an edge in the Champions Trophy format with the victory helping them take a 3-2 lead.

READ | Pakistan cricket back on track after ICC Champions Trophy win: Shahid Afridi

They hadn’t defeated India since 2009 in an ICC event and had been trailing 2-13 in all ICC competitions combined, and thus, this victory sort of broke a jinx as well, as Dawn noted.

The front page of the Dawn. (Dawn)

The News had ‘Pakistan crush Indian team, lift Champions Trophy’ as its headline, while its slug cited that this was the most significant victory for the side in the 50-over format in nearly 25 years.

READ | Mickey Arthur hails ‘remarkable’ Pakistan turnaround after ICC Champions Trophy win

It was under the able guidance of the flamboyant Imran Khan that had led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup. The Daily Times ran ‘Champions!’ as its headline and perhaps it encapsulated the significance, relief and joy of lifting the coveted title.

The front page of The News. (The News)
The Daily Times’ front page on Monday. (Daily Times)

This has been an excellent tournament for Pakistan given that they were thrashed by 124 runs in the first game against India, thus having to play almost every game as a knockout fixture since, but dished out an unthinkable brand of cricket that took the cricketing world by storm.

The Dawn looks back at Pakistan’s unprecedented win. (Dawn)

For a country maligned by terrorism, internal conflict, etc., this had certainly been two weeks that the country would want to cherish throughout the rest of their lives.

First Published: Jun 19, 2017 13:34 IST