Shoaib Akhtar just can’t keep himself out of the game. The former Pakistan speedster has been in the thick of news ever since ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 kick-started on May 30. From his remark of the current Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed as fat and unfit to asking everyone to back the skipper and his team, Akhtar has been making the headlines on most days. And it doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon. Pakistan vs England, ICC CWC 2019 Match Result and Report: PAK Outplays ENG to Open Their Account on CWC19 Points Table.
The 43-year-old ripped apart the national team captain following Pakistan’s heavy loss against the West Indies and labelled him as 'fat' and 'unfit'. But he later retracted back on his comments and in a tweet asked everyone to back the Pakistan national cricket team as they are representing the country. West Indies Exploit Pakistan's Short-Ball Woes to the Hilt as Pakistan Bowled Out For 105 in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, PAK vs WI Match.
“When Sarfaraz Ahmed came for the toss, his stomach was sticking out and his face was so fat. He's the first captain I've seen who is so unfit. He's not able to move across and he's struggling with wicket-keeping,” said Akhtar on his YouTube channel before claiming that Pakistan played 'cowardly' against West Indies.
Watch Shoaib Akhtar’s Scathing Video Here:
He, however, later pledged his support for the Pakistan cricket team and asked everyone to back the boys. In a tweet, Akhtar said, “Ok the match is over. Recollecting my thoughts and emotions. We have to back these boys, they are representing our nation. They need our support throughout the World Cup". Twitterati Laud Pakistan Cricket Team's Performance After They Beat Favourites England in ICC CWC 2019 Match.
Akhtar Asks Everyone to Back Pakistan:
Ok the match is over. Recollecting my thoughts and emotions.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) May 31, 2019
But it looks like his earlier jibe on Sarfaraz has come back to haunt him. Akhtar was criticised by the former Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Moin Khan, who heavily picked the Rawalpindi Express to have been unfit during his own playing days. He could have picked over 400 wickets if he was fit, said Khan, also a former coach of Pakistan cricket team.
“Shoaib wasn’t sincere with himself, also he was unfit during his playing days,” Moin was quoted as saying by Pakistani television channel GEO TV. “Had he been a fit player, he could have taken more than 400 wickets,” added the 47-year-old.
But the criticism did not bode well with Akhtar, who immediately took on the former wicketkeeper-batsman. In his reply to Moin Khan, Akhtar said that he (Akhtar) had single-handedly won many games for Pakistan and has 450 international wickets to his name, which was only made possible because of captains like Imran Khan and not Moin Khan.
“I have single-handedly won many series for Pakistan which you can only dream of and I already have 450 international wickets to my name in all three formats. Secondly, a player will take 450 wickets when his captain is Imran Khan and not Moin Khan,” said the 43-year-old.
Meanwhile, Pakistan bounced back from a humiliating defeat to beat hosts and tournament favourites England in their second ICC Cricket World Cup game. The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side, who had posted their second-lowest World Cup total in the decimation against the West Indies, defeated England by 14 runs to sixth in the points table. Pakistan has two points from two matches. West Indies leads the point standings with the same number of points but from one game.