Shoaib Akhtar, a former Pakistani fast bowler, is optimistic that India and Pakistan will face each other in the final of the 2023 World Cup later this year. Akhtar recalls Pakistan’s loss to India in the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup in Mohali and believes that Babar Azam and his teammates will be eager to avenge that defeat.
The games involving India and Pakistan have always been nerve-wracking affairs, and if we add the additional element of a World Cup knockout game, the pressure on both teams will escalate significantly.
Shoaib Akhtar on India vs Pakistan
Shoaib Akhtar spoke exclusively to Sports Tak about the possibility of India and Pakistan meeting in the World Cup final.
“I want an India-Pakistan final in the World Cup. We have to avenge the 2011 defeat, the one where I didn’t play (laughs). I will surely be there wherever the final is,” Akhtar said.
Akhtar also talked about India-Pakistan cricketing ties
Cricket analysts from India and Pakistan have been debating the issue of bilateral cricket matches between the two countries. Some have made controversial remarks about whether India will visit Pakistan for the 2023 Asia Cup and whether Pakistan will boycott the 2023 World Cup. However, Shoaib Akhtar believes that it’s unnecessary to escalate the situation and that only the governments of the two countries can find a solution to the issue.
“Why is there a need to speak on India-Pakistan matters when the governments of the two countries will eventually speak and sort things out? Things that are being said should stop from both sides and we should try to close the gap. Hopefully, some solution arises in the future. Pakistan will travel to the World Cup and hopefully India will also tour Pakistan in future,” he said.
If Pakistan decides to boycott the 2023 World Cup in India, they could face penalties from the ICC.