Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has lashed out at former cricketers for not adopting an impartial approach in their analysis.
While speaking to media ahead of the crucial 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup match against South Africa on Sunday, the Pakistan skipper was not pleased with the criticism he and his team were facing.
“If I say anything about them, it will become an issue, so I say nothing. They think we are no players. So, if we reply to them, they take offence. Khuda ban ke TV pe baithe hain [They appear on television, thinking they are gods],” said Sarfaraz.
Sarfaraz also brushed aside claims of divisions in the team and stated: “There is no groupism. People talk about it only when you lose.”
The Pakistan captain was also focused on the upcoming games and wanted to move on from the defeat against arch-rivals India.
“It is a tough thing for us. But after the match [against India], we gave two days of rest. But for the three days, we are practising hard. Morale is very high for us,” he said. “The tournament is now open, so we have a chance. We are focusing match by match. We will try to win tomorrow’s match.”
While acknowledging that his team is facing an uphill task, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed believes they still have a chance.
“Losing to India was definitely a tough thing for us. But we gave a two-day rest to the players after the game. We’ve been practicing hard [since] so the morale is very high for us.
“[Following England’s loss], the tournament is now open so we have a chance. We are focussing match by match. Hopefully we will try to win tomorrow’s match,” Sarfaraz commented in his pre-match press conference here at Lord’s on Saturday
“If you talk about the South Africa series, it’s different,” said Sarfaraz. “Bilateral series is different type of pressure. We played good cricket but unfortunately we didn’t win the series. But [for tomorrow’s game] we are very hopeful against South Africa.”
Pakistan have been braving intense criticism from all quarters since their humiliating 89-run loss against old foes India at Old Trafford last Sunday. When asked is he and the team were under any kind of psychological pressure, Sarfaraz played it down.
“I don’t think so. Everything is fine. We all are okay. We are all are backing ourselves, so hopefully we will bounce back in tomorrow’s match,” said Sarfraz.
There are several potential match-winning players in the South African squad but Sarfaraz made it clear that Pakistan weren’t thinking about any particular individuals.
“We all know South Africa have good players in their team but we are focusing [on the] whole team,” said Sarfraz.