Shaheen Afridi’s injury in the 2022 T20 World Cup final forced him to leave the ground.© AFP
Pakistan lost to England by 5 wickets in the final of T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday. Chasing 138 runs in the summit clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, England needed 41 runs to win off the final 29 balls when Pakistan bowler Shaheen Afridi had to leave the field mid-way during his bowling due to injury. The incident was one of the big turning points in the game as Pakistan had kept England under control by then, but the absence of their ace pacer forced them to bring in Iftikhar Ahmed to complete his over.
Iftikhar conceded 13 runs in 5 balls without taking any wicket and that took the pressure off England, who eventually won the game with 6 balls to spare.
“When your main bowler becomes unfit, then it creates problem for you,” said Akhtar on Zee News.
“Shaheen (Afridi) was never fully fit, but we cannot put the entire blame on him as he bowled well in the past 2-3 matches.
“But this is World Cup final. Even if the leg breaks. Whatever happens, happens. Just keep running and do something. But this was not in our fortune.”
When asked if Pakistan should have rested Shaheen for the summit clash vs England considering his injury, Akhtar said that the pacer could have used painkiller.
“When you numb your feet, the pain is not felt. Yes, you are risking the career of the young man. It is a World Cup final, whether you can risk or not that you have to think as a captain. It is a tough decision,” he said.
England’s victory over Pakistan on Sunday helped them become the first team to hold both the ODI and T20 World Cups simultaneously.
“England is the king of white-ball cricket,” said Afridi while praising the Jos Buttler-led side.
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