From the verge of being eliminated from the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 to qualifying for the finals, Pakistan’s journey Down Under has been incredible to say the least. After being beaten by India and Zimbabwe, Babar Azam’s men were written off but they bounced back courtesy of four wins in a row and some help from the Netherlands.
Now history beckons the men in green as they seek a second T20 World Cup title. Summing up the extraordinary couple of weeks for the Pakistani team, Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja lauded the players in the dressing room after Babar’s side confirmed their place in the final four.
“Bahut bahut mubarak ho. Bahut jabardast fight back hai. Incredible come back hai (Many congratulations, it has been an incredible fight back and come back). We should be proud of ourselves,” said the PCB chief.
“Ye sab bas ek hi wajah se ho raha hai, jab ek dusre ke liye khelte ho, unity hoti hai wo define karti hai performance ko.. kuch bhi hoga 100 per cent apna dena hai (The only factor that is driving us forward is unity, we are playing for each other, which is defining our performance. Just go and give your 100 percent).”
Fans and their critical analysis
Raja also spoke about how the Pakistan faced criticism back home after their defeat against arch-rivals India but complimented the side for maintaining unity. “To all the coaching staff, thank you so much. It has meant a great deal to the fans in fact. It is a unified stance that we have had. This is a unified dressing room, people are loving it. There are lots of good vibes and energy now. Don’t worry about the critical aspects of the performance. Unlike hockey or other sports, there are lots of interest in cricket back home. and if there will be so much interest, there will be critical analysis. But that’s shouldn’t stop us.”
Ramiz recalls 1992 WC speech
“It was the shortest World Cup speech”
“90k people were outside and Imran Khan said: ‘This is probably not going to happen ever again in our life. Just go out there and enjoy.’
“Aur kuch karne ki jaroorat nahi hai. Apne upar second guess nahi karna hai.. ye nahi kehna hai ki mai is mauke ke liye taiyyar hoon ya nahi.. aap sab taiyyar hai just enjoy the atmospehere (You don’t have to do anything extra. Do not have any second guesses about whether you belong to this stage or not. All of you are ready just go there and enjoy the atmosphere.”
“Ja ke relax approach ke saath strong body language ke saath khele (Have a relaxed approach and play with a strong body language.”
Earlier, Raja made a cheeky remark on India’s exit from the T20 World Cup, saying, ‘Pakistan players are better than the billion-dollar league cricketers.’ Pakistan will take on England in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Speaking to the reporters upon his arrival in Australia, the PCB chief said: “Billion dollar ki industry waali teams peeche rah gayi hai aur hum upar nikal gaye hai (Teams with billion dollar leagues are falling behind us). We are doing something right.”