Pakistan are facing an exit from the T20 World Cup after suffering two consecutive defeats in the matches against India and Zimbabwe. While the Babar Azam-led team suffered a crushing four-wicket defeat against India, the match against Zimbabwe was also decided on the last ball, with the team suffering a heartbreaking one-run loss. Despite restricting Zimbabwe’s lead to 130/8, Pakistan suffered a middle-order collapse as they were run out of the chase.
After the defeat, Pakistan cricketers came under heavy criticism from fans and former cricketers and in the pre-match conference before the match against the Netherlands, a reporter asked Haris Rauf if Pakistan had taken Zimbabwe “lightly”.
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“Haris, Zimbabwe bhi halki team hai, aur Netherlands bhi. Kadr se, me ranking. Zaahir hai, unko relax liya aur 130 bhi nahi ho saka. Netherlands ke khilaaf kis tarah se khelenge? Ruthless Cricket Khelenge? (Zimbabwe is not a strong team, neither is the Netherlands, in terms of qualification. Pakistan relaxed a bit and we couldn’t even score 130. How will you take the match against the Netherlands?),” asked the reporter.
Haris Rauf, however, made a fairly straightforward comment. The fast bowler insisted that no team is weak in the ICC tournaments, and the players give 100 per cent irrespective of the opponent.
“Dekhein aapne baat ki, Zimbabwe halki team hai. Koi bhi tournament khelne aaye, vo halka nahi hota. Koi bhi international game khel rahe hain, vo bhi ussi mindset se aaye hain ki hamein World Cup jeetna hai. Ham kisi ko halka nahi keh sakte, ya ye nahi keh sakte ki vo achhi team hai ya nahi hai. (See, you said that Zimbabwe is not a strong team. It’s not like that. We’re playing an international game, and everyone has come with the mindset of winning. We can’t take anyone lightly, we can’). Don’t say that this team is good or this team is not)”, stated Haris.
“Netherlands and Zimbabwe are match ho, ya kisi se bhi ho, ham apna 100 percent dene ki koshish karte hain. Unfortunately, the result hamaare mesede me wants. Zimbabwe jeeti, vo achha khele. Agle match jiske saath bhi hain, ham apna best denge. (Whether it’s Netherlands or Zimbabwe or whoever, we have to give our 100 percent. Unfortunately, the result was not in our favor against Zimbabwe, they played well. But we will give our best in the upcoming matches)” the Pakistan fast bowler added.