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‘Had I played, I’d Have Taken Down Sehwag’: Shoaib Akhtar Says 2011 WC Semi-final Still Haunts Him

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Last Updated: June 13, 2022, 16:22 IST

‘Had I played, I’d Have Taken Down Sehwag’: Shoaib Akhtar Says 2011 WC Semi-final Still Haunts Him

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, in his latest conversation, has revealed that the semi-final defeat against India still “haunts” him

The 2011 World Cup will forever be cherished by Indian cricket fans as the Men in Blue managed to lift the prestigious trophy at the Wankhede Stadium, after 28 years . India got the better of Sri Lanka in the final match while in the semi-final, they pulled off a sensational triumph against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Fans were ecstatic after the semi-final victory and a win against Pakistan just made it taste sweeter. Years later to that incident, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, in his latest conversation, has revealed that the semi-final defeat against India still “haunts” him.

“Mohali’s memory haunts me, the 2011 World Cup semifinal. I knew India was under tremendous pressure as 1.3 billion people and the media were all over them. So then we were underdogs and we shouldn’t have taken pressure. I was so sad because if I had played that game, I would have taken down Sehwag and Sachin. I knew if we hold these two players from the top, India will collapse,” Akhtar disclosed during an interaction with Sportskeeda.

The 46-year-old former pacer further revealed that he even broke a few things in the dressing room after enduring a 29-run defeat against the MS Dhoni-led side.

“I only know how I spent those six hours seeing Pakistan losing. I am not the kind of a person who cries but I break things. So I broke a few things in the dressing room. I was so furious and disappointed and so was my whole nation. It was a game of the first ten overs,” he recalled.

Akhtar was not a part of the squad that had played the crucial semi-final match against India in Mohali. The Rawalpindi Express was judged unfit by the Pakistan team management. But Akhtar feels that he should have played and the team management’s decision to not field him was unfair to him.

In the game, batting first, India had posted a total of 260/9 in 50 overs. Pakistan, during their run chase, seemed nervous from the beginning and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Misbah-ul-Haq (56 runs off 76 balls) scored a half-century but his knock eventually proved to be inconsequential as Pakistan were bundled out for 231 in 49.5 overs.

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first published:June 13, 2022, 16:02 IST
last updated:June 13, 2022, 16:22 IST