Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has praised the team wholeheartedly after they mauled India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.
Writing a column for icc.cricket.com, he opined, “This is one victory that Pakistan fans will remember for long. It has been an ultra-quick turnaround from no-hopers to champions for the Pakistan players and the manner in which the team won the match was really impressive. Rarely have I seen Pakistan deliver such a clinical performance in a tournament decider and annihilating hot favourite India came as a pleasant surprise.”
Winning a world event final by 180 runs is as overwhelming as it gets. Remember, this is the same team that barely qualified for the tournament, started as the lowest-ranked team in the fray, and was handed a 124-run drubbing in the opening match by India. The turnaround has left the world bewildered and has brought a wave of ecstasy and unbridled joy for Pakistanis all around the world. As soon as the game ended, celebrations mirroring the 1992 World Cup and 2009 World T20 wins began across the country,” he added in the column.
Praising Fakhar Zaman, Afridi said, “The game was all about Pakistan’s positivity and fearless approach. Fakhar and Azhar Ali fought through a torrid start, especially the southpaw, who survived after nicking a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball through to MS Dhoni.
Fakhar from there on blossomed and played a scintillating innings. I would rate his performance as arguably the greatest by a Pakistani in a world event final considering that this was only his fourth ODI and first ever against India. I was hugely impressed by his courage despite getting hit in the head early in his innings and how he forgot that to build a most memorable innings,” he went on to write.