Champions Trophy 2017 June 19, 2017

'We've proven everybody wrong' - Imad

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Imad Wasim reserved special praise for Mohammad Amir, whose three wickets at the top set up the final for Pakistan © Getty Images

Pakistan "proved everybody wrong" in the 2017 Champions Trophy, according to allrounder Imad Wasim.

Despite Pakistan coming into the event as the bottom-ranked team and starting with a chastening defeat at the hands of India, Imad rubbished the suggestion that Pakistan were unpredictable and instead claimed they were "one of the best in the world".

And he had special praise for Mohammad Amir, whose spell in the final proved decisive, and who Imad hailed as "the No. 1 bowler in Pakistan".

"This is not a fluke," Imad said. "We've got a great side; one of the best in the world right now. I don't see that we're an unpredictable side. We've won our last four games and we've proven everybody wrong. We won against South Africa, who are the No. 1 side in the world, so we had the belief we could take anyone down."

Imad credited the experience of playing in the PSL, and the confidence inspired by the team management as key factors in the success.

"The PSL is a big event for us," he said. "You do improve from playing in it. Look at Fakhar [Zaman], Shadab [Khan] and other youngsters who came into the side and made an impact in this major tournament. Credit goes to all the young cricketers who stepped up.

"And credit to the management, too. I've been really lucky to play under Mickey Arthur and Sarfraz Ahmed. They get along really nicely. It's great for bonding. Arthur has supported us throughout the campaign. Even when we lost, he told us we were going to come back and turn things around, and we did.

"Our bowling has been unbelievable, and [in the final] our batting was absolutely fantastic."

He had particular praise for Amir. "I've always believed in Amir. I've played with him since 2007 and captained him for Pakistan Under-19s. I'm one of his best mates, and we really wanted him in the team. He has always been world-class and he is a big-match player, too.

"I met up with him when he had the ban and it was not a good feeling. To live for five years without cricket… he was absolutely distracted from everything. He was down and out.

"Luckily, I played with him in his first game when he was coming back in domestic cricket and I saw him bowling. It was unbelievable - same pace, same everything. He's a natural.

"He's working hard at it now and you can see the way he's bowling. Whatever happened, happened, but he's the No. 1 bowler in Pakistan cricket. After five years out, you imagine how tough he is mentally. The best is yet to come from him."

Imad also believed the best is yet to come from this young Pakistan team. "Imagine the confidence we get from this," he said. "It's a young team and to win this major event - which we've never won before - is a big achievement for us."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Dr.Mudassar on June 21, 2017, 15:01 GMT

    Pakistan is the best ODI team of the world and winning CT17 have just proved this.

  • EddyKins on June 21, 2017, 12:47 GMT

    Really really happy for Pakistan. The most talented cricketers in the world of Cricket. Their fast bowling artillery is amazing, I bet you replace the current bunch of fast bowlers with new ones from their domestic circuit and find out they are equally effective.

  • anver777 on June 21, 2017, 8:42 GMT

    Like Imad said certainly this young and inexperienced PAK team proved everybody wrong.... This team showed the world that PAK cricket is still alive and kicking !!!

  • kris_vijay on June 21, 2017, 2:26 GMT

    There is no disrespect towards Pakistan. They played well on that day and hence they won. All i said was luck played its part too. The entire cricketing fraternity including India need a strong Pakistan cricket team. But for that they need to do a lot. This team is not a finished material.

  •   cricfan62564353 on June 20, 2017, 22:33 GMT

    @kris_vijay India won an ICC event 17 years after their 83 World Cup. For once appreciate and respect greatness.

  •   Touseef Awan on June 20, 2017, 21:25 GMT

    Good guy... and very competitive on the field... Imad Wasim is one of few Players from subcontinent who know when to be a gentleman and when to be bad.

  • Nabeel Gökhan Asghar on June 20, 2017, 16:49 GMT

    Imad is absolutely right. The whole world was against us. Devoid of any home cricket for 9 years, deprivation of funds, slipped to number 8 in the rankings yet Pakistan rose to the top like a phoenix from the ashes. I hope this win serves as a stark reminder to all pundits and players Paķistan is a nation of pure cricketing talent they will always be a force, never EVER count them out.

  • FrostD on June 20, 2017, 12:37 GMT

    @REHANSOHAILCA: As an Indian, I must tell you something. You are very thorough and accurate with your piece of writing. Very well written. And very convincing. Luck is required, but not all of it depends on luck. In fact, anyone who relies on luck for results or uses luck as an excuse shouldn't be into sports.

  • FrostD on June 20, 2017, 12:23 GMT

    This team reminds me of the WI team that won the World T20. Just totally unpredictable.

  • cricfan26824336 on June 20, 2017, 11:40 GMT

    there isnt ang thing to hide behind. the best team on that day won. period.feel a little sad for hardik but even then it was behind our reach. pak played better on that day.

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