Asia Cup 2023: "India Fixed The Game" Accusation Sees Shoaib Akhtar Lose His Cool. Watch
India secured a position in the Asia Cup 2023 final by defeating Sri Lanka in their second Super 4 match, but the hosts appeared to be on the verge of a win after the first innings.
Dunith Wellalage of Sri Lanka ripped through India's top order, taking 5 wickets. As India was bowled out for 213 runs, numerous supporters messaged former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, claiming that India had 'fixed the game' and were attempting to purposely lose the match. However, Akhtar responded to the supporters by calling them out on their stupidity.
"I'm not sure what you're doing. I'm getting jokes and tweets suggesting that 'India has manipulated the game,' that they're losing on purpose to eliminate Pakistan.
Are you okay? Sri Lanka is bowling their hearts out. Wellalalge and Asalanka bowled with gusto. Have you seen the 20-year-old? He made 43 runs and grabbed five wickets. "I'm getting phone calls from India and other countries saying India was losing on purpose," Akhtar claimed in a video on his YouTube account, criticising fans while praising Sri Lanka's fight throughout the game.
Akhtar even questioned why India would lose a game where a win would guarantee their place in the final. The Rawalpindi Express singled out India spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who took four wickets in the game to help his team win.
"Tell me why they'd lose. They hope to advance to the final. You wind up producing memes for no apparent reason. India put up a valiant fight. It was tremendous how Kuldeep played. "Take a look at Jasprit Bumrah, take a look at the fight while defending a small total," Akhtar added.
The Pakistan veteran even chastised Babar Azam's team for their 'lack of fight' in their most recent match against India. He even called pacers Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Afridi's fitness into question.
"Wellalage, a 20-year-old kid, is fighting. He's hitting and bowling and doing everything he can. Our guys (Pakistan) were unable to demonstrate this combat.
Our quick bowlers do not play. When was the last time they played 25-30 ODIs in a row? Then we expect Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah to bowl 10 overs without getting hurt. I want Pakistan to fight back. "It was humiliating," Akhtar said.
With India already through to the final, Pakistan must defeat Sri Lanka in their next encounter to secure a position in the title-deciding clash.