LAHORE - Pakistan cricket might have made a move forward after putting up a decent show at the recently concluded World Cup, but the players were left teary-eyed after their semi-final loss to arch rivals India.
Talking to the media during a felicitation function hosted by the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the players expressed that the defeat to India was hard to comprehend as huge expectations were associated with the game. "Most of the players wept in the dressing room after the match. No one could be more disappointed than us at that moment," said Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz, who accounted for five Indian wickets during the match.
"We were all very upset because we were aware of the expectations of people back home," Riaz reported to have said. On his own performance with the ball, the left-arm bowler said he would have gladly sacrificed his five wickets for a Pakistan win and admitted playing against India had been a high for him.
Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who had a miserable run behind the stumps during the quadrennial event, said although they dropped too many catches, they should have won the match. He however admitted that the pressure got better off them. "We played very well, even though we dropped those catches but we should have won the match. Maybe it was the pressure of the situation or just that the Indian bowlers and fielders showed more intensity. But we couldn't reach the target and that still hurts us," Kamran said.
Umar Akamal, the younger brother of Kamran who looked in good touch with the bat against India before being consumed by a quicker one from Harbhajan Singh, urged the fans to weigh their performance in an even balance and not just focus on the loss to India.
"Believe me, the reception we got back after returning from India despite the disappointing loss has only made the players more determined to do well in future," the younger Akmal stressed. Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who was dropped from the national team on Wednesday, noted that it was a tense match for the players of both sides and the result was a low point for his team.