Pakistan cricket team has been on a roll this year, and the Babar Azam-led side came close to clinching the title in the Asia Cup and 20-20 World Cup 2022. They managed to enter the finals of the World Cup, though they lost to England. And earlier, the team also qualified for the Asia Cup 2022 final. Having arguably the world’s best openers and one of the fastest bowling line-ups on their side, the team has performed really well in 2022.
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi recounted the days of struggle and talked about how hard it has been for the country to not get to watch their favourite international players in their own stadiums.
“Our grounds were turned into wedding halls. We wanted to play on our grounds. It was a difficult period for Pakistan cricket, we were missing our crowd. The people who have worked to make this happen, have put in a lot of effort. The board, the government. They played an important role,” Shahid Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“We used to convince cricketers outside when we used to go and play in other leagues, county cricket, that through their help we’ll be able to bring cricket back into our country. When cricket returned, a good message was sent from Pakistan, that we are sports loving nation and that we want to watch and play cricket on our ground here,” Afridi added.
That difficult period has passed: Afridi
After the rough phase that Pakistan cricket went through, the teams have begun to tour the nation again. Recently the English side went there for a 7-match T20 series where they defeated the hosts with a scoreline of 4-3.
“That difficult period has passed. The teams started touring Pakistan. Some pulled out Australia came, and England came. These were things our crowd was missing.”, Afridi added.
Talking about the 20-20 World Cup 2022 final, Pakistan showed enough gumption to fight even after setting a low target of 138 for Jos Buttler’s side. But being the better side on the night, England edged Pakistan by five wickets to become the sport’s first dual white-ball champions, holding both the 50 and 20-over titles. It was steered by Ben Stokes and Sam Curran on the final.