For a team that arrived in UAE as one of the tournament’s favourites, the Pakistan cricket team looked like a shadow of the side that won the ICC Champions Trophy last year in the 2018 Asia Cup. The performance of the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side was so miserable that it beggared belief.
Beginning their campaign against Hong Kong, Pakistan produced a dominating performance on their way to an eight-wicket win. Their next game against India was expected to be a livewire, but Pakistan just couldn’t negate the opposition bowlers before succumbing to an eight-wicket loss. Their clash against Afghanistan, too, was far from what their expected as Pakistan survived a scare against the minnows.
Already under pressure for their mediocre performances in the tournament, Pakistan didn’t learn from their previous mistakes as they once again got steamrolled by India in the Super Four clash. Requiring a win to stay alive in the competition, Pakistan’s worst outing came against Bangladesh who caused a major upset in the tournament with their emphatic 37-run win.
The loss against Bangladesh pushed Pakistan out of the tournament which caused a massive backlash on the social media. From the former cricketers to the cricket fans, Sarfraz and his team attracted a lot of criticism for their shambolic showing in the Asia Cup. While some blamed Sarfraz’s captaincy, others targeted the Pakistani batsmen for their debacle in UAE.
The tweet attracted a lot of heat which eventually saw the journalist deleting it. But, not before, Sania Mirza – wife of Malik – had her say on the tweet. Coming to the aid of her husband, the Indian tennis sensation said: “Arre bechaara..clearly the poor guy has been watching a different Asia Cup”.
Amid all the criticism, a Pakistani journalist tried to troll Shoaib Malik by pinning the blame on the Pakistani batsman for their poor showing against Bangladesh which, in turn, led to their ouster from the Asia Cup. Taking to Twitter, the journo wrote: “Someone should ask Shoaib Malik if he has impressed Sania Mirza, can he play for the team in the next tournament? After pleasing his wife, can he do what the nation expects from him?”.