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'Accept your mistake too': Wasim Akram feels 'tv, social media, fans' made India champions before World Cup final

NEW DELHI: India entered the World Cup final on the back of 10 successive wins and were favourites to win the summit clash against Australia. However, Aussies produced a top-notch all-round effort, outplaying the hosts to clinch a record-extending sixth title.

As the nation of 1.4 billion people continue to heal their wounds of the final loss, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram on Tuesday pointed out that television, social media and fans are also to be blamed for India's loss.

Sympathising with the Indian fans, Akram said that TV and social media already made India winners before the final and that in-turn raised pressure on players and increased the hopes of the people.

"I can understand that, as a nation, it will be tough to get over it because your team played so well throughout the tournament. They won 10 matches on the trot; there was consistency. But television, social media, fans... you all already made India the winner of the World Cup. You accept your mistake too, I'm sorry. You increased the hope of the people because they were playing so well. It's not entirely your fault. They were playing very good cricket. But it came to just one bad game. Credit goes to Australia," Akram said on Star Sports.

The former Pakistan pacer further added that the fans have to move on since there's another World Cup coming in just six months.

"First of all, the Indian team played really well. It feels like a shock (that they lost in the final), they are down but it's alright. I still get asked about the loss in the 1999 World Cup final. When will our fans forget this? The fans of India and Pakistan have an elephant's memory. It's been 30 years since we lost that final and they still ask me why I opted to bat after winning the toss. So, don't take social media seriously; half of it is just drama. As a nation, you have to move on; there's another World Cup coming in six months," Akram added.

India's only loss in the 2023 ODI World Cup came against Australia in the final, dashing hopes of a third title.

Australia beat India convincingly by 6 wickets in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for their sixth title.