Former Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail clarified that his statement on match-fixing by Pakistan was completely misunderstood.
Just two days ahead of high-octane Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals India, Sohail had indirectly accused his former national team that they qualified to final as matches were fixed to give Pakistan support.
Pakistan have qualified for the Champions Trophy final for the first time in their cricket history. While speaking to a news channel, Sohail created a storm by saying that ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys have no reason to feel proud as they have made to the finals not on the basis of their performance, but because of “external factors”.
“Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything special. Someone has helped you to win these matches. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to rejoice. We all know what happens behind the scenes. I can’t tell you who have won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God have won them the games. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not on the basis of their performances,” Sohail said.
Sohail also warned Pakistan players to concentrate on game otherwise they will be swept away by the Indians in the final.
Following his comments, entire cricket world were shaken. Coming under pressure, he had to ‘clarify’ his position on the same.
The former cricketer said that his cricketers came following Sarfraz’s refusal to dedicate his performance against Sri Lanka to Javed Miandad, saying that their former coach criticizes the team a lot.
“My comments were made after I heard reports of Sarfaraz’s refusal to dedicate his performance against Sri Lanka to Miandad and him saying that Miandad criticises the team too much.The other thing I said was that the facilitators of the win cannot be named. However, I said nothing about match-fixing or any other foul play – my statement was misunderstood,” the Dawn quoted Sohail, as saying.
In the semi-final, Pakistan pulled up an upset as they defeated tournament favourite England by eight-wicket to advance to final.
Chasing a paltry score of 212, Pakistan crossed the line for the loss of two wickets and 12.5 overs to spare.
Following the win, Sarfraz said that although no one had expected them to qualify for the finals, they are happy to defy all odds and bounce back from their opening-match defeat to India.
As arch-rivals will meet, one can expect a high-voltage match on Sunday at The Oval.
One can expect a cracker of a game on Sunday at the Kennington Oval, with the two arch-rivals facing each other for the second time in the tournament.