Pakistan's cricket team once again proved that they are capable of the most amazing turnarounds. After a humiliating defeat against India, the team bounced back and put up a magnificent performance to dominate and defeat South Africa in the ongoing ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup.
After the match, it was their coach Mickey Arthur who was sent to face the media and the South African gave a rather feisty performance. His team and players had faced an unrelenting barrage of abuse from media and fans. They were mocked, ridiculed and even insulted. Hence, it's understandable that Arthur, disturbed by the vicious attacks, wanted to send a message to the detractors.
He first talked about the ordeal suffered by his team since the defeat to India and then had a rather stern advice for the critics. "I just think that the guys (Pakistan players) were burnt last week. The guys were incredibly hurt by media, by public, by social media and hopefully, we got a proper reaction from them today that can just shut some people up for a while," the coach said.
But that wasn't the only important comment that was made at the press conference. When a Pakistani journalist claimed that Haris Sohail looked 'exhausted' after the 30th over and asked what needs to be done to improve the stamina, the visibly irritated Mickey responded: "He got 80 off 59 today! Why are you always talking negatively about our players? That today was one of the all-time brilliant innings that I have seen. Let's just write something positive for a change, please!"
The reaction of Arthur become understandable when one looks at the kind of vitriol that was directed at his team and against him also. A long list of former cricketers raised all sorts of questions about the team, from the culture to the tactics of the side. With this win, they are hoping to get some respite from these relentless attacks. But Arthur should be careful, another bad performance and the detractors would all be back with vengeance.