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'Banish all fear of losing': Pakistan's World Cup winning captain advises team ahead of India clash

Updated June 16, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan, who under his captaincy led Pakistan's cricket team to victory in the 1992 World Cup, offered advice to the green shirts ahead of India clash. ─ Dawn archive
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who under his captaincy led Pakistan's cricket team to victory in the 1992 World Cup, offered advice to the green shirts ahead of India clash. ─ Dawn archive

Hours before the highly anticipated World Cup clash between India and Pakistan on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan ─ who led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup ─ advised the team to "banish all fear of losing, give your best and fight till the last ball".

In a series of tweets, the premier said that unless the pitch is damp, "Sarfaraz must win the toss and bat".

In this file photo, Prime Minister Imran Khan takes a photograph with the Pakistan cricket team at Bani Gala prior to the World Cup. ─ Photo courtesy PTI Twitter
In this file photo, Prime Minister Imran Khan takes a photograph with the Pakistan cricket team at Bani Gala prior to the World Cup. ─ Photo courtesy PTI Twitter

In the first tweet, Prime Minister Imran said that when he started his cricketing career, he had thought that success was made up of 70 per cent talent and 30 per cent mind. However, by the time he finished playing, the premier said that he realised that it was a 50-50 ratio.

He said that now he agreed with "his friend" Sunil Gavaskar that success was made up of 60 per cent mental strength and 40 per cent talent.

"Today, [the] role of mind will be more than 60pc," he added.

In the next tweet, the premier said: "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 and today he will have to be at his daring best."

"All fears of losing should be banished from the mind as the mind can only process one thought at a time."

"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."

He said that the fear of loss leads to a "negative and defensive strategy". "Crucially, [the] mistakes by opponents are not pounced upon".

Acknowledging that "India may be the favourites", the former cricketer said the team should "banish all fear of losing".

"Just give your best and fight till the last ball. Then accept whatever the result like true sportsmen. The nation's prayers are with all of you. Good Luck."

The eyes of more than a billion television viewers around the globe turned to Manchester as arch-rivals India and Pakistan met on Sunday at 2:30pm.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who arrived in Manchester at the end of his three-day visit to Turkey on Saturday, was seen watching the cricket match between Pakistan and India from the stands.