Sarfaraz Ahmed and the Pakistan cricket team has undergone a roller-coaster journey in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. They suffered a big loss to arch-rivals India in Old Trafford and there were questions about the kind of cricket Pakistan were playing. Following the India match, the team was heavily criticised with Sarfaraz bearing the brunt of the criticism. The Pakistan skipper was trolled for apparently yawning in the game. There also emerged a video in which Shoaib Malik and his wife Sania Mirza are seen with Wahab Riaz and Imam-ul-Haq has led to different theories and stories on social and mainstream media. He also said that players went out with their families after taking due permission from the team manager. The viral video has also led Sania tweeting that whoever recorded the video had not done the right thing as it was an invasion of privacy and that players eating out with their families was not a crime.
The abuse continued in Manchester when a fresh video recently surfaced where skipper Sarfaraz was seen was walking in a mall in England with his son on his lap when a fan stopped him and asked why he was looking like a ‘fat pig’. Following Pakistan’s win against South Africa at Lord’s which kept their hopes of reaching the semi-final alive, Sarfaraz urged the fans to not make personal abusive remarks.
“I can't say anything about this. It's not in our hands to control what people say about us. Winning and losing is part of the game and it's not that we are the first team to have lost a match; previous teams also have faced defeats. Had earlier teams faced the kind of criticism that we are facing, they would have realised how much these things hurt us. Now, there is social media. People write, comment and say whatever they like. These incidents affect the psychology of the players. While criticising, one must not abuse. Criticise us on our cricket but don't get abusive with us,” Sarfaraz said.
For Pakistan, the equation is simple. They must win their remaining games. If they lose to New Zealand today, they will still not be eliminated. If they win two out of their three games, then they will have to hope England lose their remaining games and that Sri Lanka does not win more than one game. They will be hoping Bangladesh lose both their games. There is a possibility that if Pakistan wins all their games and that Australia, New Zealand lose one and India win all their games, there could be an India vs Pakistan semi-final.