IND vs PAK: "India Even Failed To Make It To The Final" - Wasim Akram Refuses To Predict Asia Cup 2023 Favorites

Updated - 28 Aug 2023, 12:39 AM

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram [PC: X]

Legendary Pakistan National Cricket Team pacer Wasim Akram has refused to predict favorites for the Asia Cup 2023, saying that all the teams taking part in the competition are quite good and anyone can win the title.

Asia Cup 2023 will commence on Wednesday, August 30, and will end on Sunday, September 17. The competition will consist of 13 matches, with Pakistan hosting 4 and Sri Lanka hosting the rest of the 9 matches.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Asia Cup, Wasim Akram said that the bowlers of the teams are nowadays used to bowling 4-overs per game, but with the Asia Cup being played in the ODI format they will find it challenging.

He added that the continental tournament will test the readiness of bowlers for 50-over cricket. The bowling great also felt that the Asian Cricket Council did the right thing by organizing an ODI Asia Cup before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

“Be it India or Pakistan or Sri Lanka, we will find out if the bowlers are able to deliver 10 overs or not, now-a-days they are all used to bowling four-overs (per game),” Akram told reporters during a tournament sponsor’s event, as quoted by PTI.

“This is a good idea by ACC to have a 50-over Asia Cup because right after it we have the World Cup,” he said.

“It is a long tournament — not a one-off that you can enter the semifinals after winning one game. You have to win games to get on top. You have to take it game by game. Also, it is a 50-over competition (this time) not T20, which means different mindset and fitness will be required.” 

Last time we had predicted an India versus Pakistan final but Sri Lanka won – Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram, while refusing to name any favorites for Asia Cup 2023, said that everyone predicted an India vs. Pakistan final in the Asia Cup 2022, but Sri Lanka emerged as winners. He highlighted India’s failure to qualify for the summit clash last year and said that no teams can be taken lightly.

Last time we had predicted an India versus Pakistan final but Sri Lanka won the competition. All three teams are dangerous — anyone can win on their day,” Akram said.

“There are other teams competing too. Last time Sri Lanka won the title, India even failed to make it to the final.

“India versus Pakistan is very important, we know about so much support (teams get), so many eyeballs, so many people (following). But other teams are also here to play so you cannot minus Sri Lanka or Bangladesh,” he added.

Wasim Akram was also asked if Pakistan could have refused to travel to India for the World Cup just like India did for the Asia Cup in Pakistan. He said that politics and sports should be kept apart from each other.

“The Pakistan government has given permission that Pakistan (team) can travel to India,” he said. 

“I have always maintained and said that politics and sports should be apart from each other. People to people contact is very important and the average Indian and Pakistani, they do respect each other. I hope eventually sanity prevails.”

Wasim Akram also labeled the Asia Cup as the second biggest tournament after the World Cup.

“It is the second biggest tournament in the calendar of the cricketing world. (The) World Cups and then the Asia Cup, two giants, clash of the titans… two titans, India and Pakistan then Sri Lanka, the previous Asia Cup champions last year in Dubai — what a success that was,” he said, as quoted by PTI.

“All six countries are looking forward to seeing their players. This is a prep tournament before the big one,the World Cup.”

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Asia Cup 2023 IND vs PAK 2023 India National Cricket Team India vs Pakistan 2023 Pakistan national cricket team Wasim Akram