New Delhi, June 16: At a time when they are drawing appreciation for storming into the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, the ghost of match-fixing once again seems to be ready to haunt Pakistan cricket.
Former Pakistan cricketer Aamer Sohail has made a vague accusation that Pakistan have made it to the finals of the ICC tournament with the help of 'external factors'.
In an interview to a Pakistan news channel, the former opener claimed that Pakistan team should not be flying too high, because if they're in the final, it's because "they were supposed to".
"We will congratulate you when you play well but we'll also criticise you when you don't. They [Pakistan team] should not be flying too high on their success at the moment because we know that they've been 'brought' to this position", Sohail said.
However, Sohail didn't say anything more on this issue but his statement has kicked-off a fresh controversy.
Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan team entered their maiden Champions Trophy final after outclassing title favourites England in the semi-final.
Last time when Pakistan made it to the final of an ICC 50-over tournament was way back in 1999 World Cup, held in England, when they were defeated by Australia.
Meanwhile, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh flayed Sohail for accusing Pakistan of match-fixing.
Ganguly said Sohail's comments "shows of poor culture and poor taste."
"The likes of Sarfraz (Ahmed) and his boys are used to all this. This is not the first time I'm hearing all these. And how can Pakistan influence their qualification into a final? How?," Ganguly was quoted by India Today as saying.
According to Harbhajan Singh, Pakistan worked after India defeat to defy the odds.
"These are all talks and I'm sure these guys are jealous. They thought that Pakistan will not reach that far. That's fine. Even I thought that they will not reach that far. They have worked really hard to get this far and I feel so bad when people work so hard and the ex-captains or ex-players talk bad about the team," Harbhajan told India Today.
Pakistan will lock horns with Team India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Sunday (June 18) at The Oval.