Losing T20 World Cup final to India will hurt till my last breath: Pakistan opener Imran Nazir

Pakistan opening batsman Imran Nazir said the loss in the T20 World Cup final against India in 2007 in South Africa is one of the biggest regrets of cricketing career and will continue to hurt till his last breath.

MS Dhoni led India had defeated Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final at Johannesburg to win the inaugural T20 World Cup.

“Cricket wise it will remain the biggest regret of my life. It will continue to hurt till my last breath. We had a chance to create history,” Nazir said in a Youtube show called Cricket Baaz With Waheed Khan.

Nazir, who was one of the mainstays in Pakistan’s batting line-up during that tournament in South Africa said he should have single-handedly finished off that game after getting off to a flying start.

“From a personal point of view, I can say, I should’ve won that match single-handedly for Pakistan like I had done in ISL because when a player starts middling the ball he has the confidence,” Nazir added.

Chasing 158 for victory in the final, Pakistan had got off to an ideal start courtesy Imran Nazir despite losing opener Mohammad Hafeez in the first over.

Pakistan were 53 for 2 in 5.3 overs when a run out ended Nazir’s promising innings of 33 off just 14 balls.

“I was playing really well then, unfortunately, got run out and the match slowly slipped away, it still hurts,” the dashing right-hander said.

Nazir who made a comeback to cricket after a long injury lay off in 2018, said playing the final in front of a large crowd will continue to be one of the highlights of his career.

“To reach the finals of the first-ever T20 World Cup and then the kind of crowd and atmosphere was there in the finals, these sort of things stay with you always. I knew whoever performs well that day will win. A good professional is someone who performs out of his skin for his country on such a big occasion.

“I had given a good start, had built a solid partnership but what matters, in the end, is how you finish, which we couldn’t. So all of this is part and parcel of the game. It was a great tournament,” Nazir added.

Nazir who represented Pakistan in 9 Tests, 79 ODIs and 25 T20Is before an injury took him away from the game, said Pakistan had an upper hand over the others because of playing a lot of T20 cricket in the domestic circuit leading into the World Cup.

“T20 is considered to be slam-bang cricket and Pakistan players had a fair idea about how to go about things compared to other countries. They took a bit of time to adjust. Our domestic competitions helped us,” Nazir said.

India had defeated Pakistan twice in the inaugural edition of the World T20 in 2007. Before the final the two sides had met in the group stages where India emerged as the winners in the first-ever bowl out in a World Cup.

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