Former sprinter Shoaib Akhtar said he wants India and Pakistan to play the tournament final in the UAE. Pakistan took their place in the semi-finals, while India is dependent on Afghanistan’s victory over New Zealand on Sunday and must beat Namibia on Monday 8 November.
India had a terrible start to the tournament. They lost to Pakistan in their opening match for the first time in the history of the T20 World Cup since its inaugural edition in 2007. Then they lost to New Zealand exactly a week later in the same venue.
These losses impacted their Net Run Rate (NRR) as they lost both games by significant margins (10 and 8 wickets, respectively). The Men In Blue are back strongly against the Mohammad Nabi– led Afghanistan and Scotland, winning against both teams by huge margins to override their NRR over Afghanistan and New Zealand.
Despite the two thrilling victories, India are forced to rely on the match between Afghanistan and New Zealand on Sunday 7 October. A defeat in Afghanistan will see New Zealand join Pakistan in the final four and make India’s game on Monday a dead tire.
In the midst of all the intense battle between the teams, Shoaib Akhtar he called for an India-Pakistan final on November 14th.
“If you beat Scotland, you are at the top of the pack. You shouldn’t worry about which team you might be playing against. Yes, I have a wish, as I said earlier, that why only play one game against India? Why not play the final? And a final between India and Pakistan is possible, “Akhtar said.
“In my opinion, India has a fair share of possibilities. Now it depends on whether Afghanistan can bring India back to the semifinals or not. “
The 46-year-old added that Pakistan shouldn’t worry about their opponent in the final and just focus on beating Scotland to top the Group 2 standings.
“Many people say New Zealand should beat Afghanistan to eliminate India from the tournament. I can’t speak for New Zealand. I just hope Pakistan is at the top of the Group 2 standings. We don’t have to worry about the rest of the results, “Akhtar concluded.