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'Black day': Pakistan reels from USA T20 World Cup stunning defeat

By AFP

June 7, 2024 04:25 PM


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Pakistan cricket fans were hurt and angry Friday after a stunning T20 World Cup loss to hosts the United States, describing it as a historic rock-bottom for their beloved national sport.

"I am distraught," said retired banker Raju Jameel, who was close to tears after staying up late to watch the match on big screens in a shopping district in Karachi.

"It's hurtful and shameful, and there must be a thorough investigation of this defeat."

A Super Over thriller in Texas saw T20 World Cup debutants the United States beat the 2022 finalists and 2009 winners in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.

"There can be no bigger shock for Pakistan cricket than this," said former international and now cricket analyst Sikander Bakht on Geo TV, the country's most popular private news channel.

"It is like Pakistan beating America at basketball."

While cricket is a national obsession in Pakistan, it barely registers in the United States, leaving most Americans either bewildered or apathetic over their momentous victory.

Commentators resorted to baseball metaphors to explain the magnitude of the Americans' achievement to domestic audiences.

But Pakistani fans had hunched over screens of all sizes late into the night, expecting to celebrate an easy win.

Instead, Friday was a "black day in Pakistan cricket", according to former batsman Basit Ali, who blamed the loss on poor squad selection by captain Babar Azam.

"He has been consistently selecting players who are close to him and that has put paid to Pakistan's chances," he told AFP.

"I think our cricket has not seen a worst day," added former Pakistan wicketkeeper and batsman Kamran Akmal.


AFP


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