Speaking at the post-match press conference following his side’s victory over arch-rivals India, Pakistan cricket team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed lauded his team’s victory and expressed his desire to see international cricket return to Pakistan.
“I think this is a great achievement for me, my team and my country. 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.
“When we arrived here we were ranked 8th, and now we are the champions. So, hopefully, this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all [cricket] playing nations will come to Pakistan.”
Paying credit where it was due, the skipper appreciated his young teammates’ efforts in the tournament: “The credit goes to my boys; they’re learning very well and they work hard.”
Sarfaraz went on to acknowledge the mature response he received from his side, comprised of many fresh recruits, saying, “When superstars play it is easier to guide them during a match because they don’t need much guidance; they already know how to cope with high-pressure situations. But these youngsters are remarkable and highly committed.”
“Players like Fakhar Zaman, Shadab [Khan], Hasan Ali, all these players deserve to be recognised for their performances; that they were playing their first ICC tournament and nobody expected us to perform the way we did with a young team. All the credit goes to the entire team, they all worked really hard.”
“A lot of people had vibes that we might not be able to defeat India, that their batting is too strong for us to handle. However, our batting and bowling were up to the task today,” the captain noted.
‘No dedication questions, please’
After a reporter asked him who he dedicated the victory to, a chuckling Sarfaraz refused to answer the question, saying, “Don’t ask the ‘dedicate’ question again, please. I don’t even comment on the matter and it still causes an uproar.”
The light-hearted reply was seemingly a reference to former cricketer Aamer Sohail’s inflammatory comments on Friday after he was seen criticising Sarfaraz Ahmad on TV for allegedly refusing to dedicate Pakistan’s win against Sri Lanka to Javed Miandad, which came on the cricketing legend’s birthday.