Pak vs SL: Shoaib Akhtar praises Zaman Khan

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his thoughts following Pakistan’s elimination from the 2023 Asia Cup, following their loss to Sri Lanka in the Super Four stage in Colombo on Thursday.

Despite the disappointment, Akhtar had words of praise for the young Pakistani pacer, Zaman Khan, who was drafted into the squad due to injuries to Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Akhtar couldn’t help but commend the emerging talent.

“After witnessing the match, it’s evident that Pakistan’s journey in the tournament has come to an end. Zaman Khan played a crucial role in this match, and he deserves all the credit. While Shaheen Afridi also contributed with a few wickets, it was Zaman who truly shone with his impressive bowling,” Akhtar shared on his YouTube channel.

While acknowledging Pakistan’s rightful place in the Asia Cup final, The Rawalpindi Express accepted that Sri Lanka had outperformed them on the pivotal day.

“Pakistan had a legitimate claim to reach the Asia Cup final, but they’ve now been eliminated. They’ll likely face criticism, given their ‘favorites’ tag. Regrettably, there won’t be a Pakistan vs. India final, a match that has never materialized. This was the opportunity, but Sri Lanka has earned their spot as finalists,” he added.

In the aftermath of this disappointing defeat, Akhtar characterized it as ’embarrassing’ and urged Babar Azam’s team to regroup, refocus, and prepare diligently for the upcoming ODI World Cup, scheduled to commence next month.

“However, it’s important to acknowledge that this loss is indeed embarrassing. Pakistan’s exit from the tournament is a bitter pill to swallow. There are many areas for Pakistan to reflect upon, including sharpening their captaincy. I’m deeply disappointed, and there’s not much more to say,” he concluded.

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