“Mohali memory haunts me, that 2011 World Cup semi-final,” says Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar says the defeat against India still haunts me

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has now said that the memory of the 2011 World Cup semi-final still haunts him while he had not played in that semi-final after he was considered unfit by the team management.

The 2011 World Cup win is written in India’s cricketing folklore as MS Dhoni’s side won the tournament after 28 years, defeating Sri Lanka in the summit clash.

However, it was the semi-final that was the real challenge as the hosts India squared off against Pakistan in Mohali. India defeated Pakistan by 29-runs to make their way to the final which was played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has now said that the memory of that semi-final still haunts him.

Shoaib Akhtar had not played in the 2011 World Cup semi-final after he was considered unfit by the Pakistan team management.

“Mohali memory haunts me, that 2011 World Cup semi-final. They should have played me; they should have played me. The management did not play me, it was completely unfair. I knew that I had just two matches left and I had this desire that at Wankhede, the Pakistan flag is held high and the team is playing the final. I knew that India was under immense pressure. The entire nation and the media were looking up to India which means the entire pressure was on them and we were the underdogs. So, I believed that we shouldn’t have taken the pressure,”  

Akhtar told Sportskeeda.

“They told me I was unfit. But I went inside, I bowled eight straight overs during the warm-up. If I played that match, no matter what the consequence would have been, whether I would have broken my leg, I would have dismissed Sachin and Sehwag. I knew India would collapse if Sachin and Sehwag were dismissed early. I was hurt. So, to see that match for 5-6 hours and watch Pakistan lose from the dug-out, I am not that kind of person who cries but I’m a kind of person who breaks things,”

he added.

Talking further about his emotions, Akhtar said:

“And I did break a few things in the dressing room because I was so sad, disappointed and furious and so was my whole nation. I knew that all it mattered was those first 10 overs.”

In that game, India batted first and put the 261 runs target on the board. Sachin Tendulkar played an outstanding knock of 85 runs while India bundled out Pakistan for 231, winning the game by 29 runs.