Sarfraz hopes lifting of coveted trophy ends Pakistan exile

Solenn Plantier
Juin 20, 2017

Pakistan had entered the tournament ranked eighth on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, but courtesy its victories against higher-ranked sides, finished in sixth place, which means it now looks well set to qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Fakhar capitalised on a lucky escape to strike a superb 114 and lift Pakistan to a commanding total of 338 for four and fast bowler Amir ripped out India's top three batsmen before the defending champions subsided to 158 all out.

With the exception of Zimbabwe's tour two years ago, Pakistan have had to play all of their "home" matches outside their own country since a 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore. Pakistan, the overwhelming underdogs at the start of the tournament, had beaten all the odds to make it to the final.

He added: "The fact is that World T20s do attract a lot of interest, they generate significant revenue for the television companies, but most importantly from our point of view they provide us with an opportunity to give more opportunities to more teams".

He celebrated with an extravagant twirl of his bat and kissed the turf as the Pakistan supporters sensed an unlikely win.

"Obviously your best effort is to try and do it every time, but cricket is not about doing well in every game that you play".

Sarfraz was chosen as the captain following his inspirational leadership during the 18-day tournament that was the cornerstone of his team's 180-run victory over India. "I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan", Sarfraz told reporters.

"I am more happy and delighted for players like Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali, who impressed their peers through their talent and performances", Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said in an ICC release.

"They both, on the face of it, meet the majority, if not all, of the full member criteria that has been set".

Amir, whose career was almost ended across London by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord's, was in superb form after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final win over England.

"The stars aligned for Pakistan on a bright Sunday in South London when they cut their old rivals down to size to win their maiden Champions Trophy crown", The News said.

Kohli, himself renowned for rising to the big occasion, admitted India had been outplayed.

They said Pak team outclassed India in the final with the extraordinary performance.

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