Pakistan cricket back on track with Champions Trophy win: Afridi

Doug Mendoza
June 20, 2017

"To be appointed as captain of the team of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which includes some of the finest and most attractive cricketers of this generation, is the flawless icing on the cake", said Sarfraz in a statement.

Delhi's streets were all but deserted after the game ended with fans storming out of public screenings after Hardik Pandya's 76-run blitz ended with India staring down the barrel at 152-7. Fakhar, who scored his maiden ODI century in style with a four off the 31st over, was awarded Player of the Match. Getting hit on the face, I don't know how those guys do it from the penalty corner. Hardik Pandya came to bat at five down and his 76 runs from 43 balls nearly brought the Indian team back into the game.

In reply, the Indian top-order was blown away by Mohammad Amir, after which the defending champions could never recover. They certainly played very good cricket.

"I wasn't feeling well yesterday, I was thinking I wouldn't be able to play, but the physio said I would be fine in the morning". It's going to be harder still because the generation most likely to supply fresh talent will have spent its formative years in a country under an worldwide lockout and will take some time to catch back up. SA players looked anxious and the nerves again got the better of team.

"We had planned big celebrations for what seemed like a sure shot victory for us with the way we were playing and also how Pakistan had just scraped into the final", Sharma added.

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Pakistan had arrived in Britain for the eight-team, one-day global tournament as the lowest-ranked side.

"This squad is built around exciting young talent and has an astute and passionate leader in Sarfraz", wrote Afridi in a column for the International Cricket Council (ICC). It's going to be hard for them because, in a world fast gravitating towards T20, their indigenous T20 league is only two seasons old, and has only ever staged one match in Pakistan. "Hopefully, this win, everyone will remember not [just] today or tomorrow, but for a very long time", said Sarfaraz, who was accompanied by team coach Mickey Arthur.

Wicket-keeper/batsman Sarfraz was one of four Pakistan players in the team of the tournament, along with opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, who made a brilliant hundred in the final, and pace bowlers Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan.

Lastly, I would like to thank the ICC for giving me this opportunity of expressing my views and contributing as a Champions Trophy ambassador.

"But you have to accept that the other team has outplayed you and they've shown better skill than you, they've shown better composure in pressure situations than you".

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