Former opener Aamer Sohail has clarified that his statement with regard to alleged match-fixing by Pakistan was completely misunderstood.
Just two days ahead of the high-octane Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals India, Sohail had indirectly accused his national side of fixing matches in the ongoing eight-team marquee event.
While speaking on a Pakistani news channel, Sohail created a storm by saying that ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys have no reason to rejoice as they have made it to the finals, not on the basis of their performance, but through "external factors".
"Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything special. Someone has helped you to win these matches. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to rejoice. We all know what happens behind the scenes. I can't tell you who have won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God have won them the games. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not on the basis of their performances," Sohail said.
Sohail further warned the players to concentrate on their game and remain level-headed; otherwise they would not be able to survive.
Following his comments, Sohail received a backlash and had to 'clarify' his position on the same.
The former cricketer said that his comments came following Sarfraz's refusal to dedicate his performance against Sri Lanka to Javed Miandad, saying that their former coach criticizes the team a lot.
"My comments were made after I heard reports of Sarfaraz's refusal to dedicate his performance against Sri Lanka to Miandad and him saying that Miandad criticises the team too much.The other thing I said was that the facilitators of the win cannot be named. However, I said nothing about match-fixing or any other foul play - my statement was misunderstood," the Dawn quoted Sohail, as saying.
Contrary to everyone's expectations, Pakistan stunned favourites England by registering a resounding eight-wicket win to enter the finals of the ongoing Champions Trophy here at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Wednesday.
Chasing a paltry score of 212, Pakistan crossed the line for the loss of two wickets and 12.5 overs to spare.
Following the win, Sarfraz said that although no one had expected them to qualify for the finals, they are happy to defy all odds and bounce back from their opening-match defeat to India.
One can expect a cracker of a game on Sunday at the Kennington Oval, with the two arch-rivals facing each other for the second time in the tournament.