Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar was left "speechless" after his country's humiliating loss in its maiden match in ICC World Cup 2019 against West Indies in Nottingham. Akhtar was among the many who criticised the team's dismal performance and went down hard upon Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, calling him 'fat and unfit'.
However, all hope was not lost on the Rawalpindi Express, who took to his Twitter account on Saturday, urging his team to keep faith in themselves and bounce back in their remaining matches with aggression and intent.
His throwback post, which showed him dismissing former English player Kevin Pietersen, inspired many on Twitter including a cheeky response from Pietersen himself.
"Blood, sweat, aggression, racing heartbeat, badmaashi. This is whats required when you represent your country. This star on your chest is your pride guys. Tagra khelo. Go get them. Larr jao," Akhtar wrote in a tweet.
Blood, sweat, aggression, racing heartbeat, badmaashi. This is whats required when you represent your country. This star on your chest is your pride guys. Tagra khelo. Go get them. Larr jao. #Pakistan #PakvsEng #cwc2019 pic.twitter.com/b9JnTmBKOp— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 1, 2019
While Akhtar's heart was in the right place, his choice of the photograph wasn't. Or at least that is what Pietersen wondered. He reminded the fast bowler just that by saying, "Can’t argue with that tweet buddy as you’re celebrating after I smacked you all over for a 100...! Great passion!"
Can’t argue with that tweet buddy as you’re celebrating after I smacked you all over for a 100...! Great passion! — Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) June 1, 2019
Akhtar, not the one to be intimidated, soon fired back with a response.
Mate you were a true force to reckon with but loved my chicken dance after getting u out ..— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 1, 2019
And reminded the former English star that Pakistan had, in fact, won the Test series.
The exchange ended on a lighter note.
Likewise :) Sending love your way ❤— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 2, 2019
Here's Akhtar's chicken dance if you're wondering.
The online banter between the former legends had cricket fans in splits.
— Prajakta Bhawsar (@18prajakta) June 1, 2019
That's out of the ground— R A T N I $ H (@LoyalSachinFan) June 1, 2019
Pakistan were outplayed by West Indies in the match played on May 31. The Men in Green were demolished by Jason Holder-led side for a mere 105 runs.
In a hurry to get the job done, West Indies won the match by 7 wickets and under 14 overs.
As for Akhtar and Pietersen, it would be interesting to see them have a go at each other on Twitter when their countries clash on June 3 at Trent Bridge.