New Delhi: Ahead of the India-England clash in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup, former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has urged his countrymen to back the Men in Blue against the hosts on Sunday.
"So I want the whole of Pakistan to back India, on social media and when it comes to public news. Because we need England to be out of this tournament," Akhtar said in a video on his Youtube channel said.
After its three-wicket win over Afghanistan, Pakistan has moved to the fourth place in the points-table, pushing hosts England to the fifth spot in the World Cup. The Green Brigade will now face Bangladesh in their final and most crucial group match if they want to enter to the semis. However, only a win for the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side won't be enough as Pakistan should also hope that both England and Bangladesh lose their remaining matches to cement their semi-finals berth.
In the video Akhtar said: "Very odd, that as a Pakistani I'm saying this and requesting all Pakistanis living in the country and abroad - please support whoever you think is right. But another option - you drink their waters, so you better support them. You live in England, so support England. You eat in England, so support England. However, as Pakistanis in Pakistan, we want Pakistan to qualify. If England get knocked out and Pakistan win against Bangladesh, the way will open up for us."
Akhtar also said that he would love to see an India vs Pakistan semi-final at the World Cup, and even anticipated Sarfaraz Ahmed and company reaching the summit clash of the quadrennial tournament.
"And if India top the points table, and Pakistan finish fourth, the semi-final would be between the two teams. I want to see this match. The entire world wants to see this match. I know that Pakistan will ruin India's happiness in the semi-finals because somehow we're going to manage to reach the finals," Akhtar concluded.