They were written over off, but are now being tipped to repeat their feat 27 years ago that followed a similar path. After becoming a laughing stock on social media after their defeat against arch-rivals India in the World Cup, the Pakistan cricket team have made a good comeback with back-to-back victories and those related to the squad are also ecstatic. Former captain and Prime Minister Imran Khan, under whose leadership the team had won the 1992 World Cup, and Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza exulted over Pakistan team’s change of fortunes in the tournament. While the former praised the team and the architects of the win against New Zealand, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail and Shaheen Afridi for the ‘great comeback’, the latter acknowledged the sport for being a 'great leveller.'
After Pakistan beat New Zealand, who were till then undefeated in the tournament, comfortably by six wickets at Birmingham on Wednesday, Khan tweeted, “Congratulations to our cricket team for a great comeback. Congratulations especially go to Babar, Haris and Shaheen for their brilliant performances.”
Mirza also posted on Twitter, “What an incredibly great leveler sport can be .”
Mirza’s husband Shoaib Malik was not a part of the winning team against New Zealand. Haris Sohail, who replaced the all-rounder after his poor show in the first few games, has been one of the star performers in the last two matches. Against New Zealand, he scored 68, while his 89 against South Africa, before that got him the man of the match award. Apart from Sohail, Shaheen Afridi’s 3/28 and Babar Azam’s 101 not out were the highlights of the match.
Recently, Mirza was trolled after Pakistan’s defeat against India as her videos with Malik and other cricketers at a restaurant on the eve of the match went viral. The six-time-grand slam winner had then hit back at the criticism in style.
Meanwhile, Pakistan now need to beat Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their remaining matches to stand a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.