Saturday Jun 22 2019

Wasim disappointed by disrespectful fans, calls behaviour ‘embarrassing’

LONDON: Pakistan’s former captain and Swing Ka Sultan Wasim Akram has come out in support of under-fire Pakistani cricketers by reminding fans of being respectful to the players.

Wasim told Geo in London ahead of Pakistan’s World Cup match that he feels embarrassed to see fans stooping too low in their interactions with Pakistani cricketers.

“Being a Pakistani it's very embarrassing to see fans misbehaving with players, I feel embarrassed that our fans can stoop to this low, I am sorry but that’s what I felt,” Wasim, the former captain said.

The former captain was reacting to the recent wave of cricket fans harassing cricketers in England following the team’s disappointing show in the World Cup. There were events when these fans publicly abused Pakistani Cricketers, including the captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.

“Our culture teaches us respecting seniors and loving juniors. The people who are misbehaving with players are those who were not taught manners at home,” the Swing ka Sultan said.

“If I was in place of Sarfaraz, I would have grabbed that guy who made the video and trashed his phone before calling his parents asking is this what you had taught to him, is this the way to talk to Pakistan’s captain,” he added.

Talking about Pakistan’s World Cup match against South Africa, Wasim Akram warned Pakistan team that despite a poor run in the tournament so far, South Africa can be a dangerous team for Pakistan at Lord’s on Sunday.

Wasim said that South Africa has a point to prove and they’ll be like wounded lions against Pakistan and it depends how Pakistan exploits the situation and reacts to it.

“South Africa isn’t a bad team but they’ve not played good enough in the tournament. But, they won’t be easy to beat, they’ll fight till the last ball,” the former captain said.

Replying to a question, Wasim said that it is difficult to discuss team combination while sitting outside as he doesn’t know what team management has been thinking but he suggested that there should be a blend of seniors and juniors.

He also agreed that Hasan Ali and Shoaib Malik aren’t good in form but added that it won’t easy to drop them from the XI.

Talking about scenarios, Wasim said that Pakistan shouldn’t think about ifs and buts of the world cup and just keep the focus on Sunday’s game against South Africa.

“People are discussing various scenarios to discuss how Pakistan can qualify for the semi-final. I think Pakistan can’t take much from these scenarios, the only thing Pakistan can do is to focus on tomorrow’s game and win it, scenario won’t help if you don’t win matches otherwise all these scenarios are useless,” Wasim said.

“First thing is to win the match tomorrow, get the right combination and play positive cricket. Don’t be scared of losing the game, don’t be scared of batting first. We have already lost, so might as well go with glory, take some bold decision, there’s nothing to lose now so go out and play some exciting cricket, that wants Pakistani fans to want the cricket team,” the former captain advised.

He cited the example of Lasith Malinga’s performance against England and said this is how a senior player should be performing and behaving in the field. He further said that Sri Lanka’s win against England has made the tournament more interesting.

“Now the world cup has actually lit up, Sri Lanka played outstandingly against England. Malinga proved how a senior player should be in the team, this is what you call the help from seniors,” Wasim concluded.