The former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has criticized the Indian media and the broadcasters for creating unnecessary pressure over Indian team and Indian players before a big game like the one against Pakistan.
Before last Sunday’s World Cup encounter against Pakistan, India had beaten Pakistan 12 times in a row in the World Cup games and given the recent performances of the Indian team, it seemed likely that they might be able to beat Pakistan again.
But, as it turned out, it was not only a defeat, it was a comprehensive defeat for India as Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a single wicket.
Shoaib Akhtar thinks that it’s not possible for a team not to get beaten at some point of time in the game of cricket. The narrative that the Indian broadcasters build, they make it look as if India can never lose a big game and it creates pressure on the Indian team to perform according to the narrative.
“Why does the Indian media portray that their team cannot lose a match? This is cricket. Pakistan comprehensively beat India and the same can happen to Pakistan. That’s the beauty of the game,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his Youtube channel.
Indian ex Cricketers and Media must listen 👂 pic.twitter.com/N4tkmR5ZwIAdvertisement
— sudhanshu' (@whoshud) October 26, 2021
Shoaib Akhtar himself has been an outspoken analyst on Pakistani television
While Shoaib’s remark might be true to some extent, it’s quite ironic for him as well because Shoaib is someone who himself is known for severely criticizing his own players on Pakistani television.
There have been occasions in the past where Pakistan players themselves have taken offence to some of the things Akhtar has said about them on TV shows.
For Shoaib Akhtar to criticize the Indian media for creating pressure on Indian players, it doesn’t sit right because he himself has done the same thing plenty of times.
Shoaib’s broader point about the hype might be taken into context, but it also must be noted that at the highest level of sport, a big game always carries a lot of hype, be it any sport.