In an applaudable display of sportsmanship, the victorious Pakistani side made a surprise post-match visit to Namibia’s dressing room to applaud their squad and congratulate them on their journey in the Twenty20 World Cup.
The interaction happened shortly after the Pakistan vs Namibia Super 12 clash in Abu Dhabi, which had ended in a Pakistan victory.
Pakistan had on Tuesday cruised to the semi-finals ICC T20 World Cup after they sealed a 45-run win against Namibia with confident half-centuries by their opening batters — a brilliant 50-ball 79* from Mohammad Rizwan and a 49-ball 70 from skipper Babar Azam.
Namibia lost the match, but they displayed a fighting spirit till the end, disallowing Pakistan any walkover. However, the mammoth 190 run target eventually proved too much in the face of Pakistan’s polished bowling attack.
The official Twitter handle of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) posted a video of the Pakistani cricketers and a team official visiting the Namibian team’s dressing room to applaud their undaunted competitiveness.
In the video, the Pakistan cricketers, along with an official, could be seen entering the dressing room and applauding the Namibian players, saying: “Guys, congratulations for qualifying playing in this World Cup.”
The Pakistani official applauded the Namibia team, saying they had done a great job so far by playing brilliant cricket. The Pakistani cricketers, including Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan, could be seen interacting with the Namibian players.
The players of the two teams exchanged smiles and words of encouragement. The warmest interaction seemed to be between Afridi and Namibian all-rounder David Wiese, who hugged, shared some jokes and wished each other good luck.
Afridi and Wiese both play together for the Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League.
Perhaps due to his familiarity with the Pakistani players, Wiese had earlier also been seen bantering with the Green Shirts, especially Haris Rauf, even during the match. Rauf, too, plays for the Qalandars.
Afridi and Wiese, who faced off in the last over of the match (with Wiese hitting the Pakistani pacer around quite aggressively before being beaten on the last two balls), had also shared smiles, a handshake and a hug after the last ball of the match was bowled.
Pakistan have won all four matches so far while Namibia have one win from three matches in the Super 12s stage.
They previously beat Scotland by four wickets, but lost their tie with Afghanistan.