LAHORE, Pakistan: A number of former cricket captains on Monday said the historic victory of Pakistan cricket team in the final of the ICC Champions trophy has given a new identity to Pakistan cricket and re-established its status as one of the best cricket teams in the world.
“The team exhibited a heart touching performance proving all predictions wrongs and came up with flying colours by winning a major title after a long gap of two and a half decades”, said Waqar Younis, Younis Khan, Misbah ul Haq and Muhammad Yousaf while talking to the state-run news agency on Monday.
They congratulated the Pakistan team, Captain Sarfraz Ahmad and its management on achieving a milestone in cricket history.
They said Pak team outclassed India in the final with the extra ordinary performance of the young players and the responsible play of the senior players.
“It was a treat to watch young Fakhar Zaman smashing an enterprising century (114) and experienced batsmen Muhammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali contributing valuable half centuries to inspire Pakistan to a superb total, then our pace battery led by Muhammad Amir ripped through the Indian batting and young bowlers, Hassan Ali, Shadab Khan and Junaid Khan underlined their talent with skillful bowling to dismiss India at a low total”, they said.
Waqar said the victory will help serve the cause of cricket at home where international cricket is not being played for past years.
“This victory has come at a time when we were struggling, being the number eight team in the world and it has infused a new confidence in it”.
Younis Khan termed the performance of the team in final “a rousing show of skills and talent of young players ” and also praised the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmad.
“The victory has made the entire Nation proud and it has added to the respect and honour of Pakistan Cricket and with this success the team is once again gained the status of one of the world’s best cricket side”, he said.
Misbah described the success “valuable” as such a big title has been achieved after twenty five years after success in 1992 World Cup in Australia.
“Pakistan team displayed quality cricket in the final and all the players rose to the occasion and achieved a collective cause of attaining glory”, he said.
Muhammad Yousaf said with no international cricket being played in Pakistan, the victory is a silver lining on the cloud.
“Definitely this success will go a long way in supporting Pakistan cricket at all levels. It has given a new name to our cricket and most importantly added respect to our country”, he said.
The former captains were of the view that success in the Champions trophy widely speaks about the rise of cricket in Pakistan despite the fact that foreign teams are not visiting the country for almost one decade.
“The passion of cricket is getting higher the youth is playing cricket in every part of the country and cricket has played a paramount role by uniting the Nation”, they added.
They said the extra ordinary performance of Pak team in the final has showed that Pakistan is rich in cricket talent and new players have the potential to fill the void.
“Victory in the final has its own significance, it has added to the confidence of the little known players who performed superbly, it has given new identity to the team after losing to India”, they said.