‘Hope all nations now come and play cricket in Pakistan’, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said at the post-match press conference.
London: A section of Indian cricket fans reacted to Pakistan’s convincing victory over India in the final of the Champions Trophy on Sunday by smashing television sets in protest but the Indian captain was sporting in defeat, congratulating the Pakistani side for its performance and acknowledging that the Indian team would have to learn from its mistakes and move on.
“Small margins can be massive but we’ve only lost a game of cricket, we need to move forward and learn from our mistakes. The pitch was consistent throughout, we backed out strengths (to chase),” Kohli said, after Pakistan outplayed India by 180 runs to win their maiden Champions Trophy – and wrest the title from India.
Kohli also said he backed his boys to chase in the title clash.
“We can’t take anyone lightly but they were more intense and passionate on the day. With the ball we could have had a few more wicket-taking opportunities.
“We tried to do out best, but even with the ball, they were aggressive, we didn’t show any resistance apart from Hardik, who’s knock was outstanding,” he said.
Despite the heavy loss, Kohli had a smile on his face.
“I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an amazing tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have.
“They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final,” Kohli added.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was all praise for his team for staging a dramatic comeback after the loss to India in the league stage.
“After the India match I said to my boys, the tournament is not finished yet. We played very well and now we have won the final,” he said.
On Fakhar Zaman, he said: “He’s a great impact player, in his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan.
“All credit goes to my bowlers, Muhammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, they bowled really well.
“It’s a young team, credit goes to my boys, this tournament can be a great booster for us. We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions,” said Sarfraz.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur too was a happy man.
“It has been an up and down ride. After the India game, we came back superbly. We knew we were better than that. The whole group came together and kept believing and that was a superb thing. We wanted to be a lot more consistent. It has been a remarkable achievement,” said Arthur.
Arthur said the focus now shifts to 2019 World Cup.
“We have got a group of young players. We are on the right track, everything is going right at the moment. I am happy with the brand of cricket we have been playing and want to continue the momentum.
“We have got two years until 2019. We have got enough points and now we do not have to go through qualifying, we want to work hard from here. We have to identify the players we want to take forward,” he added.
Hope teams will play in Pakistan: Sarfraz
“Not just today, not just tomorrow, this day will be remembered in Pakistan for years to come, said a beaming Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed as he made a passionate plea to other nations to play international cricket in their country.
No major cricketing nation has toured Pakistan since the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka team back in 2009.
“It was a great achievement by the boys and full credit to them. Everyone will remember this achievement, not just for today or tomorrow but for a long, long time in Pakistan cricket. The boys were really motivated today. We came here as a number eight ranked team and won the tournament. Hope all nations now come and play cricket in Pakistan, Sarfraz said at the post-match press conference.
“It is an unbelievable feeling which I can’t describe at the moment though. I dedicate this win to the people of Pakistan.
Sarfraz spoke about the benefits of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“We have had youngsters benefitting from PSL. Players like Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman were playing their first tournament and showed us that what they are capable of. Lot of credit also goes to senior players like Hafeez bhai (Mohammed Hafeez) and a brilliant spell from Amir, said Sarfraz.
For him, Pakistan cricket has gone through rough times.
“For years now, Pakistan is playing home matches in Dubai. We don t get the home advantage like other teams.
Through this victory, I would like to appeal to the other teams that please come and play in Pakistan.
It was his day and as if he wanted to make a statement in his own style. Before the press conference began, Pakistan media manager announced that Sarfraz will make a statement.
Sporting a white blazer and a coruscating golden trophy on the table, he looked happier than ever. No one cared for those syntax errors due to language limitations. It sounded endearing as it was a sincere appeal from him.