Cricket NewsAfter Pakistan regained its form, Shahid Afridi recalled the difficult times.

    After Pakistan regained its form, Shahid Afridi recalled the difficult times.


    This year has been a great one for Pakistan cricket. The Babar Azam-led team advanced to the Asia Cup final and then competed for the 2022 T20 World Cup championship. Even after setting a low goal of 138 for Jos Buttler’s team, Pakistan demonstrated the fortitude to battle even though they lost to England in the final on Sunday. Following an attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009, international teams stopped visiting Pakistan. Pakistan’s current purple patch is a long cry from those times. It took a while before teams began visiting Pakistan once more.

    Former skipper Shahid Afridi recalled the hard times now that Pakistan is once again one of the top limited-overs teams. “Our grounds were turned into wedding halls. We wanted to play on our grounds. It was a difficult period for Pakistan cricket, we were missing our crowd. The people who have worked to make this happen, have put in a lot of effort. The board, the government. They played an important role. We used to convince cricketers outside when we used to go and play in other leagues, county cricket, that through their help we’ll be able to bring cricket back in our country. When cricket returned, a good message was sent from Pakistan, that we are sports loving nation and that we want to watch and play cricket on our ground here,” Shahid Afridi said on Samaa TV.

    “That difficult period has passed. The teams started touring Pakistan. Some pulled out Australia came, England came. These were things our crowd was missing.” Speaking of the 2022 T20 World Cup final, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran shone as England defeated Pakistan by a margin of five wickets to win both the 50-over and 20-over championships. In front of an enthusiastic 80,462 spectators at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground, Jos Buttler’s team restricted Pakistan to 137-8, with player-of-the-match and tournament Curran grabbing 3-12 and Adil Rashid chipping in with 2-22.

    In response, England struggled to gain any momentum against a fierce pace attack and fell to 49-3 in the sixth over. Boundaries were also difficult to come by. However, Stokes (52 not out) and Moeen Ali (19) led England to 138-5 with six balls remaining to cap off an exciting tournament that lasted 45 games and nearly a month.


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