Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan offered consolation after Babar Azam’s high-flying side suffered an exit from the Twenty20 World Cup with a heart-breaking defeat to Australia in the semifinals.
Former champion Pakistan went into the contest having won all five of its round-robin matches in the Super 12 stage but wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade belted three sixes in a row on Thursday to clinch a see-saw chase to send Australia into Sunday’s final.
“To Babar Azam and the team: I know exactly how all of you are feeling right now because I have faced similar disappointments on the cricket field,” Khan, a former Pakistan cricket captain, said on Twitter .
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“But you should all be proud of the quality of cricket you played and the humility you showed in your wins. Congratulations Team Australia.”
Former captain Ramiz Raja, who serves as the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board, also praised the team for its performance in the tournament, which it won in 2009. “You have united the land truly and you have refreshed its mood with promise,” Raja said. “We thank you and we are proud the way you fought. Well done boys.”
There was also support for Hasan Ali who had a torrid time on the field against Australia.
Having conceded 44 runs in four wicketless overs, fast bowler Hasan also spilled a catch from Wade. Fast bowling great Wasim Akram urged the fans to support Hasan instead of criticising him. “What we don’t want is that the whole country gets after poor Hasan Ali now,” Akram told Pakistani channel A Sports .
“This situation is as tough for the players as it is for the fans. The players will go to their rooms, they’ll be quiet, they won’t talk to their families and the defeat will haunt them. As a nation, we don’t want to add fire to that fuel.”
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