Former Pakistan player Umar Akmal who was a part of Pakistan’s playing XI for their semi-final match against India in the 2011 World Cup in Mohali, recently recalled how he silenced the Indian crowd with his boundaries as well. He shared that there was a pin-drop silence in the stadium when he was smashing. He also mentioned that he could only hear the sound of his and Wahab Riaz’s families as well.
Speaking on Daniyal Sheikh’s YouTube channel, Umar Akmal said: “We were playing in a jam-packed stadium. The Indian crowd went completely silent when I started hitting boundaries. It seemed as if there was nobody in the ground. My family was present at the venue, and the only other family was Wahab Riaz’s. I could only hear the sound of those 12 people when I was hitting. I was completely disheartened after we lost that match.”
However, Pakistan needed 261 runs to win the semi-final against India but they were bowled out for 231, suffering a heartbreaking 29-run loss. Umar Akmal scored 29 runs off 24 deliveries in the knockout match as well. He also regrets not being able to win the 2011 World Cup as well.
He added: “Sri Lanka had already qualified for the final. Some of their main players were injured and unavailable. So, for us, the match against India was the final. We knew that we could easily beat Sri Lanka. I wanted to win the World Cup for Shoaib Akhtar. I would have been very happy if we won the final and lifted Shoaib Akhtar on our shoulders. I would have requested Shahid Afridi to play Shoaib bhai in the final.”
However, Team India beat Sri Lanka in the final by six wickets at the Wankhde Stadium in Mumbai to clinch the coveted trophy. Gautam Gambhir (97) and MS Dhoni (91*) stepped up with the bat as the team successfully chased down the 275-run target in 48.2 overs as well. Meanwhile, Akmal also shared a heartwarming incident as well. Notably, Umar Akmal’s last appearance in international cricket came in a T20I match against Sri Lanka in October 2019.
“Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan played in the T20 World Cup for India in 2009. I was watching the match with my father, who expressed his desire to see his two sons represent Pakistan together. I kept that in mind, and it was a big motivation for me,” Umar Akmal concluded.