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Shoaib Akhtar Slammed for 'U-Turn' After Pakistan's Stunning Victory Over New Zealand

Cricket fans from Pakistan and India have united to call out Akhtar on his 'hypocrisy' after he posted a congratulatory video heaping praises on team's thumping victory over mighty New Zealand.

Anurag Verma | News18.com

Updated:June 27, 2019, 12:30 PM IST
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Shoaib Akhtar Slammed for 'U-Turn' After Pakistan's Stunning Victory Over New Zealand
Screenshot from video posted by Shoaib Akhtar on YouTube.

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar led the attack from the front when Pakistan showed ordinary performance in the mini-World Cup clash against India on June 16.

The Rawalpindi Express summarised the short-comings of his players, calling out each and everyone for their poor display on field and even fired shots at coach Mickey Arthur after Pakistan looked listless against the mighty Indians, who showed more intent and character on the day.

But, as they say, cricket is a funny sport. And it can humble you down in no time.

Pakistan team, led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, has bounced back in the World Cup and how. The green warriors, that looked completely washed out and colourless, got back on its feet and rose against Faf's South Africa to stay in the run for the semis. The team, now functioning as a unit, served a massive blow to unbeaten Kane Williamson's New Zealand, much to the excitement of cricket fraternity.

With the victory, Pakistan has given themselves a good chance to advance to semis and subsequently put the hosts England in jeopardy.

While Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Malala, and passionate cricket fans from the nation cheered the victory with zeal, it was Shoaib Akhtar's congratulatory video to the squad on Twitter that stuck out like a sore thumb for several loyalists of the team.

He followed it up with a snippet of him praising Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam and Haris Sohail for their match-winning contributions in the stunning victory.

"Never corner Pakistan team and Pakistan country. This is what happens when you corner them. We strike back. We strike back really hard. Well done Pakistan team. We have done it," Akhtar said.

Referring to his bitter and nuanced analysis (read: rant) after India loss, Akhtar added by saying, "I had to shake you up from your sleep and we finally played like tigers."

Akhtar also spoke about the spooky similarities of team's outing in 1992 World Cup and hoped that England lost its next match to India and his team emerged victorious in the last two clashes against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Akhtar, who has enjoyed all the attention he has received in the course of this World Cup for his sarcastic yet brutal digs at Pakistan - even accumulating a million subscribers on his new YouTube channel, got a thumbs down from his countrymen and women.

His "hypocrisy" and "U-turn" even managed to rile fans up on this side of the border. "Time change, comments changed. Until last match you scolded your team and players like anything, today they shut your mouth. Better stop commenting and support your team,(sic)" an Indian fan wrote in response.

In his previous video, Akhtar had minced no words and slammed the Pakistan team on different accounts.

“Hasan Ali goes to Wagah Border and jumps around to show off his energy but why can he not display the same energy for Pakistan in the World Cup?” he said.

Akhtar was also exceptionally critical of captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who he dubbed as “unfit”, further slamming him for not just his ‘un’-fitness levels (read: his weight) but also his apparent lack of intent in the marquee encounter.

“The match was half-won when Pakistan won the toss. But no, Ahmed sends one-dimensional players to the field, there is no pace no swing nothing – and the next thing we know – we are losing a match which was in our favour to begin with,” he vented.

But he is a happy man now and you can watch Akhtar's complete video post Pakistan-New Zealand match here:

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