Islamabad, June 16: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan gave some pep talk to the country's cricket team to banish the fear of losing to India in the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup match on Sunday, saying the fear of losing leads to a negative and defensive strategy.
The cricketer-turned-politician, who led Pakistan to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, took to Twitter to offer some suggestions to the team and said that the role of mind will be key to success.
"All fears of losing should be banished from the mind as the mind can only process one thought at a time. Fear of losing leads to a negative & defensive strategy & crucially mistakes by opponents are not pounced upon. So here are my suggestions for Sarfaraz & Pakistan team," the 66-year-old cricketing legend said in a series of tweets.
Pakistan has never won a match against India in ICC Cricket World Cups. Given the intensity of the match, both teams will come under great mental pressure and the power of the mind will decide the outcome of the match today, he said.
The match is being played by the two neighbours after the recent tensions between them after the Pulwama terror attack.
"In Sarfraz we are fortunate to have a bold captain & today he will have to be at his daring best. In order to have a winning offensive strategy Sarfaraz must go in with specialist batsmen and bowlers because "Raillu Kattas" rarely perform under pressure - especially the intense kind that will be generated today. 2. Unless pitch is damp, (captain) Sarfaraz (Ahmed) must win the toss & bat," he said.
However, the Pakistani captain won the toss and chose to bowl, contrary to Khan's suggestion to bat first. "Finally, even though India may be the favourites, banish all fear of losing. Just give your best and fight till the last ball. Then accept whatever the result like true sportsmen. The nation's prayers are with all of you. Good Luck.
Highlighting the importance of mind, Khan, who is also known as 'Kaptaan' in Pakistan said: "When I started my cricketing career I assumed success was 70% talent & 30% mind. By the time I finished playing cricket I felt it was 50-50 ratio. But now I tend to agree with my friend (Sunil) Gavaskar it's 60% mental strength & 40 % talent. Today role of mind will be more than 60%".
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is being hosted by England and Wales from May 30 to July 14. Pakistan won the championship in 1992 under the captaincy of Khan while India has won it twice -- 1983 and 2011.