“A painful part of my body is still at Lord’s”

Former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar achieved huge success in a variety of formats over the course of his career. However, the one title every cricketer playing for his country craves is the ICC World Cup and the 46-year-old painfully failed to win it in 1999.

Pakistan lost only one group match, against India, that entire tournament en route to the final in Lord’s against Australia. However, their clout couldn’t show up on the big day as they suffered a defeat to end their near-perfect World Cup campaign.

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Playing at the iconic Lord’s Ground is a special occasion for any cricketer. However, Shoaib Akhtar explained that: Sportskeeda that it always hurts him when he goes to that location because of the heartbreak he has suffered. He said:

“That bitter memory is still with me to this day. It gives me nightmares. I still believe that my inner core is left behind at Lord’s. Every time I went to Lord’s I was never happy. Because I knew we were Having lost the final here, we could have taken the victory round.”

Aktar added:

“Some of me left there for good. I love that ground, the people, the atmosphere, but a sore part of my body is still there.”

#Recoil World Cup 1999! 🤩Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi, they wore the best Pakistani jersey ever. ❤️ https://t.co/vOCHxcm4KY

In terms of talent, Pakistan was ahead of everyone else: Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar claimed that the 1999 Pakistan World Cup team was the most talented in the world at the time. They had covered all the departments with world class players like Wasim Akram, Azhar Mahmood, Abdul Razzaq, Saqlain Mushtaq and Akhtar himself. He claimed:

“We had progressed to the 1999 World Cup final. No disrespect to anyone, but when you compare talent with talent, Pakistan was way ahead of everyone else. We had dominated the opposition except in the two games we lost … we lost to India and the other we lost in the final.”

Akhtar also came close to winning the 2011 World Cup, but Pakistan was knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions India.

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