Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan (above) praised Shahid Afridi’s efforts © Getty Images
Islamabad: Mar 3, 2014
The moment Shahid Afridi‘s shot off Ravichandran Ashwin‘s bowling soared over the boundary ropes, entire Pakistan went delirious with joy as fireworks and gunshots were blazing in the air.
Aerial firing was reported from Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi and even Rawalpindi seconds after Pakistan won the nail-biting match against arch-rivals India. Fireworks too lighted the sky as the country erupted in joy. People danced on the streets with Punjabi music being played in the background.
Like in most cities, there was less than normal traffic on the roads in Islamabad today during the time when the match was being played. Special screenings were organized in various restaurants in Islamabad where youngsters watched the encounter on giant screens.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan congratulated the Pakistani team after their stunning victory.
“Afridi fulfilled his responsibilities as a senior player and I am happy to see him playing so well under lot of pressure,” Imran said.
Pakistan’s former fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar said that while Pakistan had secured a great win but one must remain realistic at all times.
“I am happy that Pakistan won but I think it was not our batting but our bowling that won us the match as they restricted India to a reasonable total on a good batting track,” he said.
Pakistan’s former captain Muhammad Yousuf praised the Pakistani bowlers for putting in a good effort on a batting track.
Pakistan’s designated chief selector, Rashid Latif felt that India made a mistake by not selecting Yuvraj Singh for the Asia Cup particularly when Dhoni was not available and Suresh Raina had been sidelined.
“I don’t know why Yuvraj was not selected because he remains a limited overs player and today India missed his aggressive attitude and all round ability. I think his experience would have helped against the Pakistani spinners.”
Latif also felt that Kohli was a quality player but needed to curb his aggression to be successful as captain on the international front.
Pakistan’s former batsman and ex-head coach Mohsin Khan said Afridi had shown why it was necessary to retain faith in senior players like him.
“I think everyone contributed in their won way but the way Afridi handled the pressure in the final over, that was the winning moment for Pakistan. He kept his nerves and won the match for Pakistan.”
Mohsin, who has also remained chief selector, pointed out that Pakistan should have won this match more comfortably after restricting India to a gettable total.
“But that is the way this team plays it makes things difficult for itself.”
Pakistan’s banned fast bowler, Muhammad Aamir said that Pakistan had won a great match after a long time.
“Afridi showed his value to the team and he remains a big asset for us.”