“If Pakistan performs, teams around the world will run after us,” says Wasim Akram

Pakistan cricket team | GETTY

Pakistan cricket great Wasim Akram has urged fans to support their national team after New Zealand and England abandoned the Pakistan tour. He said the fans need to stick with the Pakistan team in this tough time.

While the New Zealand cricket team had decided to cancel their entire tour just before the first ODI in Rawalpindi on September 17 due to security issues, England withdrew from the tour citing players’ mental well-being as a reason.

“I know you’re all very disappointed with New Zealand and England when they canceled their tours. Especially New Zealand, for canceling it at the last moment. I am equally disappointed, equally down, and equally sad. But life has to go on. Like our chairman, Ramiz Raja said, support Pakistan. The team they have picked for the World Cup, let’s support them for once,” Akram said in a video uploaded by Cricket Pakistan.

Pakistan is now focusing on the upcoming T20 World Cup in October-November in UAE and Oman. They are slotted in Group 2 along with India, New Zealand, and Afghanistan, with two more teams to qualify.

Akram said the world will run behind Pakistan if they perform well in international cricket. “We will criticize them later if the need arises and will figure out solutions too. But right now, we all need to come together as a unit and support our team. If teams don’t want to come, let them not. But if our side performs well, teams all around the world will run behind Pakistan. So all the best, Pakistan team. We are all behind you,” he added.

England women’s team were scheduled for their first-ever Pakistan tour and also the first by the men’s team since 2005. “Their (Pakistan) support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship.

“We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasize an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022,” ECB had said in a statement after pulling out of the tour.