Phil DeFreitas would get ‘great satisfaction’ from England beating Pakistan

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Thirty years on from losing a World Cup final against Pakistan in Melbourne, Phil DeFreitas expects victory for England but not “closure” for the class of 92.

Sunday’s showpiece at the MCG throws together the same teams at the same ground, three decades since they last fought for a global title.

DeFreitas, who also finished as a runner-up five years earlier against Australia, was a key component of the England side that went in as firm favourites against Imran Khan’s unpredictable outfit and lost by 22 runs.

A couple of contested lbw decisions in the pre-DRS era, and a dropped catch off DeFreitas’ bowling when Khan’s match-winning knock of 72 was still in its infancy, helped tip the scales.

And while the former all-rounder will be hoping things go better for Jos Buttler’s men this time around, it will not heal every old wound.

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“This final certainly brings back a few memories and I look back on that day with disappointment really,” DeFreitas told PA news agency.

“It could have been a different story if one or two decisions went our way, but some of the calls went against us.

“It could have been a different story but you can’t go back. I don’t think there’ll ever be closure, it’s a different time, a different format, but I think it would give a few of us great satisfaction to see England win. There are a few parallels so it would be great for them to beat Pakistan.

I think it would give a few of us great satisfaction to see England win. But I don’t think there is ever closure.

“But I don’t think there is ever closure. Every time you see a picture of Imran lifting the World Cup trophy you’re reminded of it.”

DeFreitas, who now works as a coaching consultant with Leicestershire, is confident England have the quality to come through on this occasion but does not anticipate much support from the stands in Melbourne.

“If England play anything like they did against India in the semi, they should walk it. They are a terrific team,” he said.

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“They deserve to win it and I don’t see any complacency there whatsoever. The crowd will be definitely supporting Pakistan, it was exactly the same for us.

“We had our usual Barmy Army supporters but it was a big Pakistani crowd and lots of Australians supporting Pakistan too.”

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