London, June 18: Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is at the centre of a storm following an embarrassing defeat at India's hands, has warned his teammates of possible backlash back home if they fail to improve in the remaining matches in the ongoing World Cup. On Sunday, Pakistan were outplayed in all the three departments by India who thrashed them by 89 runs (DLS method) in their ICC World Cup 2019 fixture played at the Old Trafford.
With just three points from five games, the 1992 champions are languishing at the bottom of the table and their chances of making it to the semifinals are quite bleak.
Following the defeat against India -- their seventh against the Men in Blue in all World Cups -- the entire Pakistani team is drawing heavy flak from both fans and former cricketers, with people singling out Sarfaraz for their rout against the arch-rivals. So much is the anger and frustration against Sarfaraz that former speedster Shoaib Akhtar even termed him a "brainless captain".
According to a Pakistani media outlet, thenews.com.pk, it has been learned that Sarfaraz has asked his teammates to lift their game or be ready to face the wrath of the public back home if the below-par performances continue. "If anyone thinks that I will go home, then it is their idiocy," the website quoted the Pakistan skipper as saying while addressing his teammates after the match. "If God forbid something unfortunate happens then I won't be the only one going back home."
He asked them to forget the bad performance and lift their game. The website, in its report, further revealed that no senior players made any comments on Sarfaraz's speech including coach Mickey Arthur who also remained silent.
Pakistan will next face South Africa in what would be a do or die game for them on Sunday at Lord's. Sarfaraz's team need to win all their remaining matches and also get favourable results in other matches if they have to somehow make it to the final four.