Pakistan’s cricket captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has warned his team that he won’t be returning home to face the music alone if his team’s disastrous form at the Cricket World Cup continues.
Pakistan currently sit ninth in the 10-team standings after five matches played in the tournament.
And, following the team’s defeat to rivals India in their most recent clash, Sarfaraz made clear that their country back home won’t tolerate further disappointing performances by the side, and he won’t be the man going home to face them alone.
“If anyone thinks that I will go home (alone), then it is then it is their idiocy,” he reportedly told the dressing room in an emotional speech.
“If, God forbid, something unfortunate happens, then I won’t be the only one going back home.”
Cricket is the most popular sport in both Pakistan and India, with an estimated television audience of one billion viewers tuning in to watch the match between the two sides at the weekend.
India defeated Pakistan by 89 runs via the rain-delay scoring adjustment system known as the Duckworth-Lewis Method, leaving Pakistan on the brink of an early exit.
The side has won just one of its five matches played so far. And with just four more matches to be played in the round-robin group stage, progression to the knock-out stages via a top-four spot looks unlikely at best.
It has left the team facing mass criticism back home, and the captain said it was imperative that the team got back to winning ways and delivered performances the nation could be proud of in the remaining four group stage matches.
“Forget the bad performance and uplift the team for the remaining four matches,” he said.
Australia currently head the Cricket World Cup standings with four wins and one defeat from their opening five matches. New Zealand, India and hosts England occupy the remaining qualification spots, having each played one match fewer.
But with Pakistan under fire for their performances – and Sarfaraz branded a “brainless captain” by former Pakistan star Shoiab Akhtar, the pressure is on as they head into their final four matches.