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2017 ICC Champions Trophy

Mohammad Amir
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Mohammad Amir Thanks Shahid Afridi For Standing By Him

Mohammad Amir, who recently alleged ‘mental torture’ by the Pakistan team management and announced his shock retirement from international cricket, has thanked former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi for standing by him even when the entire Pakistan team was up against him.

The 28-year-old recalled the moment when his former teammates were not ready to play alongside him because of his role and involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mohammad Amir: Shahid Afridi Stood Rock Solid By Me And Said I Will Play Come What May

Mohammad Amir served a 5-year ban for his role in a spot-fixing incident in 2010 for bowling two deliberate no-balls during Pakistan’s tour of England.

Mohammad Amir, said that Afridi was the only one who stood rock solid by him and said, “Amir will play come what may.”

“The entire team was on one side and did not want to play with me but Shahid bhai said, ‘Amir will play come what may’. I will always be thankful to these two,” Mohammad Amir said in a YouTube video.

Shahid Afridi,
Shahid Afridi. Image Credit: Twitter.

Further, Mohammad Amir asserted that his decision to not play international cricket was not just an emotional one. He also revealed that he used to get regular taunting from some of his teammates for his role in the infamous incident which saw him banned for 5 years before he returned on New Zealand tour in 2016.

“This is not an emotional decision. I took this step after putting much thought into it,”

“See, not everyone has [the same] guts as I have. If I made a mistake, I came clean in front of everyone and apologized for it as well and faced this issue,” he said.

On 26 July 2019, he announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. On 17 December 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket.

Mohammad Amir Came Back After 5 Year Ban With Excellent Spell At Asia Cup, Pakistan Super League And Champions Trophy 2017

Mohammad Amir stated that he successfully made a return to international cricket after his ban ended in 2015 by stellar performances in 2016 Asia Cup, Pakistan Super League and Champions Trophy 2017.

“I came back and with Allah’s help bowled a very good spell at the Asia Cup and then became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the PSL. I also helped Pakistan win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017,” Mohammad Amir added.

PCB CEO Wasim Khan.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Amir also denied having any issue or conflict with PCB CEO Wasim Khan or the board’s chairman Ehsan Mani.

“I have reservations with the current team management. This ‘yes boss, yes boss culture’ cannot be allowed to go on,” he added.

Mohammad Amir played a major role in Pakistan’s 2017 Champions Trophy win as he picked three wickets conceding 16 runs in final against India. He picked 5 wickets in that series. In 2019 World Cup, he picked 17 wickets averaging 21.06 playing eight games. In 2016 Asia Cup which was a T20 affair, he picked 7 wickets averaging 11.57 in 4 games.

Mohammad Amir, Virat Kohli
Getty
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Virat Kohli’s Performance Speaks For Itself: Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir has praised Indian skipper Virat Kohli for consistent batting performances across all formats. The Pakistan pacer praised the skipper for being one of the greatest batsmen India has seen.

He shares an intense rivalry with the Indian skipper on the cricket pitch and reportedly said that he has massive respect for the charismatic leader of India not only as a cricketer but also as a person.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Twitter.

Mohammad Amir: Virat Kohli’s Performance Speaks For Itself

The Pakistani pacer had shattered India’s hopes of lifting the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy with his devastating pace bowling spell against the Virat Kohli-led side in the final. Even skipper Virat Kohli had also acknowledged the pacer’s bowling exploits at the time. Mohammad Amir bowled one of the most crucial spells of his life — 6-2-16-3.  Pakistan bowled out the defending champions for 158, winning by 180 runs after posting 338 on board.

Pakistan Won 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Final
Pakistan Won 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Final (Photo by Simon West/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“Virat Kohli is a great player, one of the best, and his performance speaks for itself. Apart from his game, I also have huge respect for him as a person. It is always very fulfilling to hear good words from another great cricketer and a good human being,” Amir told ANI.  

Virat Kohli who is India’s most successful skipper in tests excels as a batsman too averaging over 50 in each format. He has 70 international centuries-the third most after Ricky Ponting’s 71 and Sachin Tendulkar’s 100. Virat Kohli is No. 1 batsman in ODI cricket where he averages a staggering 59.31-the second-best after Ryan Ten Doeschate. In T20Is, he is second in averages after Pakistan’s Babar Azam who is ahead by a whisker.

Mohammad Amir: Utilized Induced Covid-19 Lockdown Break To Work On Fitness And Game For Shorter Formats

Mohammad Amir debuted in first-class in November 2008. He played his first One-Day International and Test in July 2009 in Sri Lanka at the ripe age of 17. On 29 August 2010, he was arrested for spot-fixing and was given a five-year ban for bowling two deliberate no-balls. On 15 January 2016, he made his return to international cricket in a T20I match against New Zealand.

Mohammad Amir.
Mohammad Amir. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Speaking to a news agency, Mohammad Amir spoke for a long time about working on his white-ball skills during the unprecedented lockdown phase in the aftermath of Covid-19. He also praised the Indian skipper, for never staying away from praising and speaking highly of the Pakistani speed merchant.

Mohammad Amir feels good when a premier batsman like Virat Kohli appreciates whatever the Pakistani pace ace has accomplished on the cricket strip. After not being included in 34 member squad for an away tour, he is bowling with the Galle Gladiators in the inaugural season of the Lanka Premier League. Pakistan team led by Babar Azam meanwhile is touring New Zealand. The out-of-favour Pakistan pacer also opened up about playing Tests.

“I haven’t thought about playing red-ball cricket again very soon, and I utilized the break to work on my fitness and on my overall game for the shorter formats,” the 28-year-old said.  

A few of the more experienced players such as Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik and Asad Shafiq have been left out of the Babar Azam-led unit for New Zealand tour as five uncapped players are included in Pakistan’s extended squad.

On 26 July 2019, he announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. In 36 Test matches, he has picked 119 wickets averaging 30.4, but his last Test came in January 2019 against and in South Africa. In ODIs, his average is 29.63 with 81 wickets in 61 appearances. In 50 T20Is, he has 59 wickets averaging 21.41.

Virat Kohli Won’t Give You a Second Chance – Mohammad Amir

Left-arm pacer from Pakistan, Mohammad Amir who dismantled India in the Champions Trophy final, early this year by picking three wickets feels that the wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli was the crucial one which led to Pakistan’s victory.

Amir, along with Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, and Shadab Khan helped Pakistan beat the defending champions India by 180 runs.

PCB should take special care of Amir: Yasir Arafat
Amir, while reminiscing the sweet memories with ESPNcricinfo said,

“When Kohli was dropped, I thought half the game was gone, to be honest. Because he is the kind of batsman if you give him a chance, he won’t score less than hundred. Ninety-percent of the time, you give him a chance, he gets a hundred. Recently against New Zealand, they dropped him on 15 or 20, and he scored a hundred. He doesn’t give you a second chance. Everybody knows if you get Kohli, India is 50% out of the game. Till he is at the crease, India’s chances of winning are 70-80%. If you look at his chasing ratio, he is at the top of the world. He chases well; he performs well under pressure.”

The young Amir spiled the beans on the plans they made to beat a confident side. He admitted they wanted to remove the top-order as quickly as possible, as Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli were scoring the bulk of the runs in the tournament.

Virat Kohli Won't Give You a Second Chance - Mohammad Amir 1
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Amir further explained how he played with the mind of the star batsman Kohli bowling two consecutive outswingers from the same length. Kohli, who judged the swing wrong edged it to the slips, as Amir was on fire.

“I remembered Fakhar [Zaman] and how he had been out on a no-ball and had then scored a hundred. That kind of thing happens when you are walking back, it came to me immediately, and I thought I hope this doesn’t happen to us now,” he admitted about the match-winning century.

 

Virat Kohli Won't Give You a Second Chance - Mohammad Amir 2
Reuters / Andrew Boyers

He concluded saying it was difficult to defend the score on that kind of pitches because it was flat and the only way to win matches was to pick wickets.

“The pitch was the kind where you couldn’t stop the runs. Even after they were six down, [Hardik] Pandya was hitting so big – the wicket was that flat. You couldn’t stop the runs flowing; you could only take wickets to win the game,” Amir signed off.

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(IND vs SL 2017: It’s a Dream Come True For Me – Vijay Shankar)

ICC World Cup 2019, Pakista,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Amir Relishes Virat Kohli’s Prized Scalp in ICC Champions Trophy Final

As the slice of luck doesn’t seem to go in left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir’s way in the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as he further picked a solitary wicket of debutant Sadeera Samarawickrama, in his 50 overs, the former bowled so far.

The promising left-arm fast-bowler Amir is known for brilliance with the ball, as he has further cherished the prized scalp of Indian skipper Virat Kohli which he bagged during the recently 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

“It would have been calamity had we not got him [Kohli] next ball. I was on cloud nine when I dismissed him immediately; we had got a second wicket and had won half the match,” Amir was quoted as saying by Wisden India.

The prolific right-handed batting mainstay Kohli was squared up by Amir — to see the ball lobbing in the air which eventually found the safe pair of hands of rookie leg-spinner Shadab Khan at the point region after Azhar Ali dropped Kohli in the slip cordon.

“It nipped away but the light faded before my eyes when I saw Azhar Bhai dropping that catch. I can’t tell you how I was feeling. How on earth did we let him off, he is the best in the world in a chase and he never gives a chance,” Amir added.

After Pakistan won its maiden Champions Trophy title on June 18 where Amir, who tormented the strong batting line-up while removing the three premium batsmen in quick succession including batting star Kohli, was the chief architect with the ball.

“The Champions Trophy win ranks at the top in my career, and it will remain so until we win a bigger event, like the World Cup,” Amir maintained.

Mohammad Amir Relishes Virat Kohli's Prized Scalp in ICC Champions Trophy Final 3
Amir and Kohli has share great bond off-the-field. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

(Read Also: Azhar Ali Out Of ODI Series; Imam-Ul-Haq breaks into the 15-Man Squad against Sri Lanka)

Amir revealed it was tough on his part to bear the brunt of the back spasm for what he got injected many-a-times and he still failed to make it to the semi-final fixture against England at Cardiff which allowed the 25-year-old left-arm fast bowler Rumman Raees to make it to the playing XI.

“I can’t forget those three wickets in the final. They are particularly special because they helped Pakistan win a memorable match, and that too against India,” Amir said while recalling his best moments of the Champions Trophy final.

While talking about India-Pakistan fixtures, Amir believes the pressure is always on both the sides, as he further feels the speciality lies in the performance of players.

“A cricket match always has its pressures. Anyone saying that an India-Pakistan match is just a normal game is not speaking the truth,” Amir concluded.

Re-emerging onto the international scene as a strong force after being caught in the infamous spot-fixing case in Lord’s 2010, Amir has eventually gone on to impress his critics for maintaining his discipline when he returned to the national fold last year against New Zealand.

The pace portent Amir has been the spearhead in the bowling department for Pakistan across formats, as he has given hundred percent after being humiliated during the investigation in London while bringing disgrace to Pakistan and gentleman’s game in particular alongside former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.

Amir made his international debut in 2009; he featured in 36 ODIs followed by 31 Twenty20 internationals and 29 Tests. He bagged 183 scalps across all three formats.

Sarfraz Ahmed led Pakistan beat India in finals of ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

PCB Receives Champions Trophy Prize Money

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally received their cash prize of Rs. 230 million from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for winning the Champions Trophy last month.

The board added that they are ready to distribute the amount among the players. The Asian giants defeated their arch-rivals India by a whopping 180 runs which saw them lift the Champions Trophy for the very first time. They bagged a prize money of $2,200,000 (approximately Rs.230 million) which was sent to PCB by the ICC without any tax cuts.

The money will be divided into 17 parts. While 16 players will receive the money, the last part will be divided among support staffs. As per estimates, each player is expected to bag a whopping 13.5 million while every member of the team management will hopefully receive Rs 10,00,000 each.

Pacer Wahab Riaz who was sent back to Pakistan after sustaining an injury during the opening game against India will also receive one part of the money. Besides this, the Prime Minister had promised Rs 10 million to the team who also happens to be the patron of PCB. Courtesy their victory, many individual performers also got prize money and gifts by different private organisations.

It was a brilliant performance by the Men in Green to clinch their maiden Champions Trophy title. They were the outright underdogs coming into the tournament and no one really gave them a chance and after a thrashing at the hands of India in the opening game, the writing seemed to be on the wall.

But as they say, you can’t predict anything with Pakistan, it was the same case against South Africa. They bowled brilliantly and won the rain curtailed encounter to keep their hopes alive. In the next encounter, yet again the Sarfaraz Ahmed led side clinched a nail biting thriller after sliding down the barrel at a particular stage.

They were sensational in the semifinal against a much fancier England side and brushed them aside by eight wickets. It was yet again a clinical bowling performance but in the final, all three departments clicked together. After getting a lucky reprieve early on, Fakhar Zaman went on to smash a brilliant century which put India under immense pressure.

Mohammad Amir then came firing all cylinders to remove the top three Indian batsmen within no time and despite a valiant effort by Hardik Pandya India fell short by a huge margin of 180 runs.

Inzamam-Ul-Haq, Rohit Sharma
PCB

Inzamam-ul-Haq Paid Extra Prize Money, Questions Raised Over The Matter

The move to award Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief selector of Pakistan cricket team, an amount of 10 million has resulted in the criticism as the former Pakistan skipper has been given an excess of nine million over other selectors.

Wasim Haider, Tauseef Ahmed and Wajahatullah Wasti have faced nepotism and they have been only given an amount of one million, which has now become the centre of controversy. (Read Here: Sarfraz Ahmed Appointed As Pakistan Test Captain)

It has also been learnt that, the backroom staff whose award money has been cut down so as to pay Inzamam a hefty amount,

“Initially the list/notification by the PM’s office had said while the players would get 10 million each and the head coach and coaches 5 million each but later it was decided to reduce the amount for some members of the team staff including the media manager, social media manager, physio, masseur etc and the same amount was utilized for rewarding the selectors,” a source said.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Paid Extra Prize Money, Questions Raised Over The Matter 4

This move is a big surprise as the former Pakistan skipper already gets a huge amount as salary for the job if compared to other members of the selection committee and here as well Inzamam’s credentials have worked in his favour which has seen him getting a special treatment. The prize money was distributed in a function hosted by the Prime Minister’s Office where Pakistan’s team was felicitated by PM for their Champions Trophy win.

It was the first Champions Trophy win for the team which came under a debutant captain Sarfraz Ahmed. Pakistan had a tough start to the tournament as they opened their account with a loss against India but they kept their hopes alive by winning next league stage games qualifying for the semi-finals.

A win in the semi-final against England saw Pakistan taking on India where they bamboozled the defending champions to win the trophy. Fakhar Zaman, who was given reprieve off Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery, shone for the team with a century and rest of the work was one by Mohammed Amir who scalped three wickets to give India early jitters right at the start, which meant that India was never ever in the fray of chasing the target.

(Read More: Rahul Sharma Interview)

(Read More: Ishan Kishan Interview)

I Was A Little Disappointed By MS Dhoni During The Champions Trophy Final, Says Fakhar Zaman

The Story:

Champions Trophy final hero Fakhar Zaman has revealed how two of Indian cricket’s biggest stars Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni reacted after he reached his century. Recalling the incident, Zaman said that although Kohli was trying to get under his skin throughout his knock, the India skipper applauded the Pakistan opener when he scored his maiden ODI century.

However, the left-handed batsman said that he was disappointed to see Dhoni maintaining his usual calm demeanour even after he scored the century at such a big stage.

“When I was batting well, Kohli and others were saying things to me so when I got to hundred I thought they would ignore it but when I looked at Kohli, I saw that he was looking down but graciously clapping for me. I was a little disappointed by MS Dhoni as he did not show much reaction after my hundred” revealed Fakhar Zaman on a Pakistani TV show according to Pakpassion.net.

I Was A Little Disappointed By MS Dhoni During The Champions Trophy Final, Says Fakhar Zaman 5
Image credits: Getty

Zaman’s century led the foundation for Pakistan’s historic win, as the Men in Green outclassed the defending champions by 180 runs to win their maiden Champions Trophy.

Zaman’s Introduction Changes Pakistan’s Fortunes:

Any chance of seeing Pakistan in the semifinal stage of the tournament was looking absolutely bleak after they were hammered by 124 runs in their tournament-opener against India. However, their fortunes completely changed with the introduction of Zaman in place of Ahmed Shehzad from the second game onwards.

Zaman began his campaign with a quickfire 31 in a victory over South Africa before scoring his maiden fifty to help his team beat Sri Lanka and qualify for the semifinal. The southpaw once again proved his worth in the last four stage against hosts and widely touted favourites England by scoring a yet another fifty.

Recalling another hilarious incident that took place when the England players tried to sledge him, Zaman said how he made them stop their verbal attacks by saying ‘no English’

“When we played against England, almost 80% of the fans were our supporters. Azhar Ali kept on telling me to play other shots but I kept on telling him that if I middle it will be a four on mid-wicket and a six if I top edge it. In the England game, I was talking to the umpire in English but also knew that England players were trying to sledge me” said the 27-year old.

I Was A Little Disappointed By MS Dhoni During The Champions Trophy Final, Says Fakhar Zaman 6
Image credits: Getty

“At that time, Plunkett came by me and said something to me, I just shook my head and said ‘no English’ as in I can’t understand it and he went away. After Plunkett had gone, the umpire smiled at me and shook my hand and said well done” he added.

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Lasith Malinga Under Fire For Criticising Sports Minister, To Face Disciplinary Inquiry

The Story:

Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga has landed in hot waters for his ‘monkey remarks’ aimed towards Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has confirmed it has launched an investigation into the comments by the senior bowler.

As per Cricbuzz, a top SLC official said that the veteran pacer had breached his contract and will face a three-member disciplinary committee. The committee will be headed by SLC CEO Ashley de Silva. The source further said that the disciplinary committee will make its recommendations to SLC’s Executive Committee.

Lasith Malinga Under Fire For Criticising Sports Minister, To Face Disciplinary Inquiry 7
Image Credits: Getty

Heart Of The Matter:

Following Sri Lanka’s early exit from the Champions Trophy, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had questioned the Sri Lankan team’s fitness levels. Jayasekara had cited Sri Lankan players’ lack of fitness as the reason behind their poor fielding which ultimately cost them a place in the semifinal of the tournament.

“The typical body fat amounts for a cricketer should be about 16 percent, but most of our players have over 25 percent,” Jayasekera had said. “I want the results analysed and in future, no one will be included in a national squad if they are above 16 percent.”

“They improve their fitness level just to bowl four overs at the IPL,” Jayasekera had said, referring to Malinga. “These guys are not interested in playing for the country, they play for the IPL because of the money they get.”

The island nation had dropped three sitters in their must-win game against Pakistan, the virtual quarter-final. All three dropped catches were off the bowling of Malinga, as Pakistan registered an unlikely victory.

Lasith Malinga Under Fire For Criticising Sports Minister, To Face Disciplinary Inquiry 8
Image Credits: Getty

However, the criticism did not go down well with Malinga, who could not refrain himself from making some nasty remarks towards the minister.

“I don’t care about criticism from those who are simply warming chairs,” he had said. “What does a monkey know about a parrot’s nesting hollow? This is like a monkey getting into a parrot’s nest and talking about it.”

We Want To Win The T20 World Cup Under Sarfraz Ahmed, Says Imad Wasim

Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim has insisted the historic Champions Trophy win is just a stepping stone for the team which is aspiring to be the number one side in the world.

Pakistan entered the Champions Trophy as the lowest-ranked side and began the tournament on the worst-possible note, as they were hammered by 124 runs by arch-rivals and defending champions India.

Post that heavy loss, nobody had given the Men in Green even a slight chance of advancing to the next stage let alone winning the tournament. However, Pakistan proved their credentials by defeating world number one side South Africa in their next game before getting the better of Sri Lanka to advance to the semifinal.

In the semifinal, Sarfraz Ahmed & Co. hammered hosts and widely touted favourites England by eight wickets to storm into their maiden final of the Champions Trophy.

The one-time World Cup champions had reserved their best for the final, as they capped off their remarkable turnaround in the tournament by registering a huge victory of 180-runs against India. The win was Pakistan’s first global trophy in the 50-overs format since the 1992 World Cup and Imad Wasim feels the team still has a long way to go before they achieve their glory days of the past.

“This is our first step towards victory and to the glory we once had. The way the boys played at the tournament and outclassed all the top four teams of the world was a result of our hard work and dedication for the team,” Wasim said.

Speaking about the team’s future goals, Wasim said:

“We have just reached the first step there is a long way to go, we want to be the top team in the world and win the T20 World Cup under the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed. The way he led the team is what the players need.

Talking about the criticism that the team gets after the defeats, the all-rounder said the winning and losing is a part and parcel of the game and the game should not be treated as the war.

“There should be a balance in criticising the team. Winning and losing is part of the game and that is how cricket is. Cricket is not war, it’s a game and every team plays to win the match and so did we,” he said.

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Revealed: The Conversation Between Virat Kohli, Shoaib Malik and Yuvraj Singh After Champions Trophy Final

India’s Champions Trophy campaign ended in a heartbreaking manner. Virat Kohli and his brigade entered the final of the tournament on the back of some impressive displays and were widely touted as the favourites to lift the trophy by beating Pakistan which was the lowest-ranked side in the tournament.

Moreover, the way India had thrashed Pakistan in their opening game of the tournament, nobody had given the Men in Green a chance to win the match. However, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side stunned one and all by putting in an inspired performance, beating the defending champions by a whopping margin of 180-runs to lift their maiden Champions Trophy title.

Batting first, Pakistan rode on Fakhar Zaman’s maiden ODI century to post a daunting 338 for four before the Pakistani bowlers led by Mohammad Amir made light work of India’s formidable batting order. Amir sent back the in-form trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli cheaply to leave the Men in Blue reeling at 33 for three. India never looked in contention after those early setbacks and was eventually out for 158 in the 31st over.

This was India’s first defeat to Pakistan in an ICC event since the loss in the 2009 Champions Trophy and it is quite easy to say that the Indian team would have been very disappointed. However, the humiliating loss did not stop the Indian players from displaying a beautiful sportsmanship.

A video posted by the ICC on Twitter showed India skipper Virat Kohli and Yuvraj sharing a light moment with the Pakistani players during the presentation ceremony. Given the enormity of the defeat, everyone was left confused as to what had made the players laugh so hard after the high-octane clash and we seem to have found the answer to that question.

Here is the clip that was posted by ICC:

One can see that Shoaib Malik was gesturing an incident related to a catch. Well, the incident is none other than the story of the comical drop catch that happened due to a misunderstanding between Malik and Saeed Ajmal against West Indies.

Here is the clip of that hilarious misunderstanding between the two Pakistani players:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVrA6CzUWL8

 

 

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