Premier gives advice to Pakistan team ahead of WC-19 clash with India

Image shows the Pakistan cricket team meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan before their departure for England. – File Photo

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to a Cricket World Cup victory in 1992, gave his suggestions to the team ahead of their high-voltage match against India.

The former captain Pakistan and cricketing legend gave his suggestions in a series of messages on Twitter.

The prime minister started by recalling how the game had transformed over the years and how it now required significant mental strength.

“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,” he said. 

“But now I tend to agree with my friend Gavaskar it’s 60% mental strength & 40 % talent. Today role of mind will be more than 60%.”

The prime minister continued by commending captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for his boldness.

“Today, 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. In Sarfaraz we are fortunate to have a bold captain & today he will have to be at his daring best.”

He continued by telling the Pakistani players to remove all fears from their minds and to not be in a negative state of mind.

“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,” he said, continuing to give three crucial suggestions to the captain.

“1. 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, Sarfaraz must win the toss & bat

“3. 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,” he said.

He ended his messaged by wishing luck to the team.

“The nation’s prayers are with all of you. Good Luck.”

The eyes of more than a billion television viewers around the globe will turn to Manchester when arch-rivals Pakistan and India meet in the most highly-anticipated group match of the World Cup on Sunday (today).

The Green Shirts will be looking to win their first-ever match against India at the World Cup.

Pakistan comes into this match with one win and two losses. The team so far has lived up to its unpredictable tag as they lost to West Indies and Australia but surprisingly beat tournament favourites England.

India, on the other hand, is unbeaten in the tournament. They have outclassed South Africa and Australia in their previous encounters of the tournament.  

According to the International Cricket Council, there were some 800,000 applications for tickets to watch the match at the Old Trafford ground, where the capacity is 26,000.