Shoaib Akhtar hits out at India-Sri Lanka Asia Cup match fixing claims, slams Pak's lack of fight

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalSep 14, 2023 | 13:07

Shoaib Akhtar hits out at India-Sri Lanka Asia Cup match fixing claims, slams Pak's lack of fight

Shoaib Akhtar praised the bowling efforts of India and Sri Lanka. Photo: Getty

Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has addressed claims that India fixed the match against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2023 and deliberately performing poorly to keep Pakistan out of the final.

On his YouTube channel, Akhtar vehemently criticised those who raised this concern. "I am receiving calls suggesting that India intentionally wanted to lose. Yaar, aap ka dimag toh theek hai. Bhai, woh kyun harein? Woh finals mein jaana chahte hain yahan se," Akhtar said


The Rawalpindi Express had special praise for young Sri Lankan talent, Dunith Wellalage, who delivered an outstanding all-around performance with both bat and ball. Wellalage surprised everyone with a five-wicket haul and an unbeaten 42 (46) with the bat, while also taking 5/40 in his bowling spell.

'Pakistan's lack of fighting spirit'

While acknowledging the impressive performances of Indian and Sri Lankan bowlers, Akhtar criticised the Pakistani team for displaying a lack of fighting spirit. "Look at Sri Lanka; their boys are putting up a fight. I didn't see the same spirit in our boys. Even if not 300, they should have aimed for at least 275, getting closer to the target," Akhtar said.

Akhtar also highlighted the fact that the Pakistan team hasn't played many One Day International (ODI) games in the last year. "How can we expect Naseem Shah or Haris Rauf to bowl 10 overs without getting injured?" he questioned.

'Jadeja! What a player'

Akhtar reserved special praise for Ravindra Jadeja, as the all-rounder delivered an excellent bowling performance, taking two wickets while conceding just 33 runs. Jadeja crucially dismissed Sri Lankan batter Dhananjay De Silva in the 37th over when it seemed that de Silva might win the game for Sri Lanka. "Look at Jadeja; he's a fighter who consistently contributes to the team, whether with the bat or the ball," Akhtar lauded.


He also commended Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammad Siraj for their tight bowling, which restricted Sri Lanka to a total of 172.

In conclusion, Akhtar urged the Pakistan team to keep their hopes alive despite their poor run rate. "Pakistan should maintain their hope and, at the very least, put up a strong fight," he emphasized.

Pakistan is set to face Sri Lanka today in a must-win match at R Premadasa Stadium.

Last updated: September 14, 2023 | 13:07
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