London: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmad has a vision for his team after their Champions Trophy victory, while team coach Mickey Arthur wants his team to stick to a theory that will bring more success.
Safraz wants his youngsters to keep performing and show the same commitment in the coming years. “When superstars play it is easier to guide them during a match because they don’t need much guidance; they already know how to cope with high-pressure situations. But these youngsters are remarkable and highly committed. Players like Fakhar Zaman, Shadab [Khan], Hasan Ali, all these players deserve to be recognised for their performances since they were playing their first ICC tournament. Nobody expected us to perform the way we did with a young team. All credit goes to the entire team, they all worked really hard.”
Sarfraz would like his players never to ever think that opponents are too strong to be beaten. “Many people felt that we might not be able to beat India, and that their batting is too strong for us to handle. However, our batting and bowling were up to the task today. We proved that if we put in our efforts we can beat anybody.”
Arthur has earlier coached South Africa and Australia, but never enjoyed the success of winning a final. Proudly holding the medal for the champions, he said: “I was telling somebody the other day that I’ve had five semi-finals with South Africa but never got to a final. I got one final with Pakistan and eventually got a medal. So that’s fantastic. But the credit goes to the players. They’ve been brilliant, and my fellow coaching staff and management team have been fantastic as well.”
The coach now hopes to continue this victory momentum, and feels it is possible because of the self-belief he has injected into the players. “I think (the win) it’ll be massive. I’m sure that the nation of Pakistan is really happy tonight because they deserve it for what they’ve been through ... for players not playing at home. The fans too have not identified with the heroes because they just don’t see international cricket. So this victory is massive for the country. Let us hope this kick-starts that momentum in Pakistan again.”
Arthur expects that his players will earnestly indulge in conversations for victory like they did in this tournament, “We had some conversations about stepping up, about standing up to our position. And it is the players who almost drove that conversation, which for us was very new. But that showed maturity, and the way they turned it around was unbelievable.”
Arthur also hopes that this victory will usher the way for international cricket in Pakistan. “We are scheduled to have a World XI team coming to Pakistan in September for three Twenty20 games. Hopefully that starts paving the way for future tours.”