Just two days ahead of the high-octane Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals India, former Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail has indirectly accused his national side of fixing matches in the ongoing eight-team marquee event.
While speaking on a Pakistani news channel, Sohail created a storm by saying that ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys have no reason to rejoice as they have made it to the finals, not on the basis of their performance but through "external factors".
"Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you to win these matches. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to rejoice. We all know what happens behind the scenes. I can't tell you who have won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God have won them the games. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not on the basis of their performances," Sohail said.
Sohail further warned the players to concentrate on their game and remain level-headed, otherwise they would not be able to survive.
"The boys now need to be level-headed and focussed on playing good cricket. We all are well aware of everyone's calibre. If you do something wrong, then we will tell you about the same. If you do something correct, we will appreciate you. So, they should keep themselves level-headed, otherwise they would not be able to go much ahead."
Contrary to everyone's expectations, Pakistan stunned favourites England by registering a resounding eight-wicket win to enter the finals of the ongoing Champions Trophy here at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Wednesday.
Chasing a paltry score of 212, Pakistan crossed the line for the loss of two wickets and 12.5 overs to spare.
Following the win, Sarfraz said that although no one had expected them to qualify for the finals, they are happy to defy all odds and bounce back from their opening-match defeat to India.
"Nobody recognised us, nobody thought we'll qualify for the final.Credit to the team and the team management for how we came back after the loss to India," he said.
"After the first loss, we were very down. But the team management boosted us really well. After the India match, we just motivated the guys. We told them 'don't worry about the India match - this is gone, we have two matches; if we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament'. Now we are in the final. I'm very happy as a captain," Sarfraz added.
One can expect a cracker of a game on Sunday at the Kennington Oval, with the two arch-rivals facing each other for the second time in the tournament.
Going into the match, India would be high on confidence having comprehensively defeated their Asian neighbour by 124 runs in the group stage.
However, it would not be an easy one for the Men in Blue to defend their title as they would face a charged-up and equally confident Pakistan, who surprised everyone by beating favourites England in the first semi-final at Cardiff on Wednesday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)