Lahore: Former star batsman Aamer Sohail has alleged that Pakistan resorted to match-fixing during their run to the final of the ongoing Champions Trophy cricket tournament. Pakistan had started their campaign on a disastrous note with a 124-run defeat to arch-rivals India, but consecutive wins over Sri Lanka and formidable South Africa in the rest of their matches in Group B saw them qualify for the semi-finals.
England, the only undefeated team in the tournament until that point, were among the favourites to reach the final, but Pakistan dominated with both bat and ball to outclass the hosts and set up a title clash with India. However, the Pakistan team’s impressive turnaround has left Sohail unimpressed and he asserted that “external factors” helped them to reach the final.
“Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you win the game. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to be so happy. We all know what happens behind the scenes. Don’t wish to get into the details on who won them the games,” Sohail said during a programme on a Pakistani channel.
“If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God has won them the games. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not based on on-field performance. The boys now need to be level-headed and focus on playing good cricket,” the former Pakistan captain added.
Sohail was himself at the heart of the match-fixing scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket in the late 1990s.
One of the key players during Pakistan’s successful campaign at the 1992 World Cup, Sohail’s most infamous moment on the cricket field was at the 1996 World Cup when he got into an altercation with India pacer Venkatesh Prasad before being bowled off the very next delivery.