Cricketer Harbhajan Singh on Monday defended the Pakistan national team after they were brutally trolled on social media by fans following their seventh successive defeat in a World Cup match against India on Sunday.
Fans from Pakistan began ripped apart their cricket team players and called them out for their lack of preparedness against a strong Indian team.
A number of videos and pictures have emerged on social media which show a few Pakistan players having burgers on the eve of the crucial World Cup encounter. As soon as Pakistan crumbled to one of their worst defeats vs India in the tournament, the team’s fans wasted no time in pointing out the player’s outing as the chief reason for the loss.
Another image doing the rounds on social media showed Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed yawning on the field during the match – and the picture superimposed on to a pillow on a bed.
But Harbhajan Singh came to Pakistan team’s defence and said that players are allowed to eat whatever they want and their diet should not be blamed for their performance on the field.
“They are allowed to have burgers, it’s their wish what they want to do,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke also joined in on the issue surrounding the social media jokes on the Pakistan team.
“At the end of the day you put in the work and you get the rewards. If you don’t then you don’t get the rewards. Pakistan has to look at why they are underperforming in this World Cup. Whatever the reason, whether it’s training or the right squad, preparation.
“At the moment they are not playing well enough. They are a better team than how they are playing,” Clarke told India Today.
Some people also trolled Shoaib Malik and his wife, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza, after they were seen hanging out with Wahab Riaz and Imam-ul-Haq late at night before the big match. Pakistan Cricket Board however, clarified on Monday that no player had violated the curfew timings set by the team management.
“I don’t know if it’s true, but if there are pictures doing the rounds then it’s not the right thing to do before the game. Specially a World Cup game against India. I hope it’s not true,” Harbhajan said.
The defeat left Pakistan ninth in the 10-team standings with just three points from five matches. Their only win at the tournament came against hosts England while their match against Sri Lanka was washed out.
Pakistan must win all four of their remaining group games to have any chance of reaching the World Cup semi-finals. They face South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday before taking on New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Harbhajan was asked whether Sarfaraz Ahmed would lose his captaincy after this performance to which he said Pakistan need to start winning from here on otherwise drastic measures will have to be taken.
“I hope they start winning from here onwards. But if they don’t get forward and don’t get into the semis…I know the emotions with India and Pakistan, I think he’ll lose his job. That’s what happens in India and Pakistan, when you lose a couple of guys have to go,” Harbhajan said.
When the same question was asked to Clarke he said, “I don’t follow Pakistan cricket close enough to be in a position to answer that question. As a captain when your team loses your always accountable. But I don’t know if they have got somebody else to replace him.”