Pakistan faced an early exit from the T20 World Cup after the side faced two consecutive defeats in their matches against India and Zimbabwe. While the Babar Azam-led side suffered a dramatic four-wicket defeat to India, their match against Zimbabwe was also decided on the final ball with the side conceding a heartbreaking one-run loss. Despite restricting the Zimbabwean side to 130/8, Pakistan endured a middle-order collapse as they fell short in the chase.
After the defeat, the Pakistani cricketers faced vicious criticism from fans and former cricketers alike and during the pre-match conference before the side’s match against the Netherlands, a reporter asked paceman Haris Rauf if Pakistan had taken Zimbabwe “lightly”.
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“Haris, Zimbabwe bhi halki team hai, aur Netherlands bhi. As long as, ranking me. Zaahir hai, unko relax liya aur 130 bhi nahi oh saka. Netherlands that khilaaf kis tarah se khelenge? Ruthless cricket khelenge? (Zimbabwe is not a strong team, neither is the Netherlands, ranking-wise. Pakistan relaxed a bit and we couldn’t even score 130. How will you face the game against the Netherlands?),” asked the reporter.
Haris Rauf, on the other hand, had a rather simple remark to the same. The fast bowler insisted that no team is weak when it comes to ICC tournaments, and the players give their 100 percent regardless of the opposition.
“Dekhein aapne baat ki, Zimbabwe halki team hai. Koi bhi tournament khelne aaye, vo halka nahi hota. Koi bhi international game khel rahe hain, vo bhi ussi mentality se aaye hain ki hamein World Cup jeetna hai. Ham kisi ko halka nahi keh sakte, ya ye nahi keh sakte ki vo achhi team hai ya nahi hai. (See, you said that Zimbabwe is not a strong team. It’s not like that. We are playing an international match, and everyone came with a mentality to win the World Cup. We can’t take anyone lightly, we can’t say that this team is good or this team is not),” Harris stated.
“Netherlands ya Zimbabwe se match ho, ya kisi se bhi ho, ham apna 100 percent dene ki koshish karte hain. Unfortunately, results hamaare favor me want the. Zimbabwe jeeti, vo achha khele. Agle match jiske saath bhi hain, ham apna best denge. (Whether it is Netherlands or Zimbabwe or anyone, we have to give our 100 percent. Unfortunately, the result was not in our favor against Zimbabwe, they played well. But we will give our best in upcoming matches)”, the Pakistani fast bowler . further said.