When it came to the World Cup in 2011, it was happiness for India, but it was anguish for Pakistan, and even more so for the legendary cricket player Shoaib Akhtar. When MS Dhoni’s team, the Men in Blue, won the World Cup edition and hoisted the trophy in front of their home audience in India, it will be long remembered as one of India’s most significant accomplishments in this sport. However, Pakistan was unable to capitalize on this golden chance as they went on to lose the semi-final match in Mohali to the team that ended up winning the tournament. Akhtar says that this defeat continues to torment him.
He was ruled unable to play in the major game in Mohali in the semi-final, even though he was a part of the team. In an interview with Sportskeeda, Akhtar recalls the decision as being one that the team management made that was really “unfair.”
“The memory of Mohali, the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup, continues to torment me. They ought to have played me, and they ought to have done so. It was a very unjust move on the part of the management of the team. I was aware that I only had two more matches to play, and I had the hope that the Pakistani flag would be flown at Wankhede as the squad competed in the championship match. I was aware that India was coming under a significant amount of pressure. Because the country as a whole as well as the media were looking up to the squad, we were considered to be the underdogs. Therefore, I believed that we shouldn’t have given in to the pressure,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
Akhtar stated that he was aware that the first ten overs of the match would have a significant impact on the outcome of the game and that, if he had been a member of the team, he would have choked the Indian line-up upfront and dismissed their key batters such as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag early on in the game.
Shoaib Akhtar was frustrated
The renowned pacer spoke about the agony of seeing his team lose the game from the dugout and said that he was so angry that he couldn’t play that he smashed a few items in the locker room.
“They informed me I wasn’t playing. On the other hand, I stepped inside, and during the warm-up, I bowled eight consecutive overs. If I had been playing that match, I would have taken both Sachin and Sehwag’s wicket, and it wouldn’t have mattered to me what the outcome would have been. If Sachin and Sehwag had been taken out of the game early, India would have been doomed. I felt profound anguish. Attend the match for five or six hours and see Pakistan lose while they are in the dugout… I am not the kind of person who will break down and cry, but I am the type of person who will smash things. And since I was so upset, angry, and frustrated after the game, I ended up breaking a few objects in the dressing room. The whole country felt the same way. I was aware that the only thing that mattered was the first ten overs,” he said.
The team was able to reach 260 for nine thanks to Sachin’s 85, while Pakistan was only able to score 231 runs as a result of the combined effort of the bowlers. After 28 years, India was finally able to capture the elusive trophy by claiming victory against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium.