The much-hyped India vs Pakistan clash at the Cricket World Cup 2023 was pretty much an one-sided affair with the Rohit Sharma-led hosts coming out victorious in Ahmedabad on Saturday. India were the dominant side both with the bowling and batting as Babar Azam‘s Pakistan showed no gumption to fight. Batting first, Pakistan were all out for 191 with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav picking two wickets each. India, boosted by brilliant innings from Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer, reached the target easily.
However, after the match ended, Pakistan Team Director Mickey Arthur gave a unique response. He mentioned that the atmosphere inside the Narendra Modi Stadium did not feel like it was ‘an ICC event’.
Arthur said: “Look, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. It didn’t seem like an ICC event to be brutally honest. It seemed like a bilateral series; it seemed like a BCCI event. I didn’t hear ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ coming through the microphones too often tonight.” Arthur, however, said that the lack of support in the crowd could not be used an excuse for the team’s heavy loss to India.
“So yes, that does play a role, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse because for us it was about living the moment, it was about the next ball and it was about how we were going to combat the Indian, the Indian players tonight,” he added.
‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ is a popular song sung by famous group Vital Signs fronted by late Junaid Jamshed.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, ICC has now responded to the comments.
ICC chairman Greg Barclay seemingly downplayed the criticism. “Every event that we have, there’s always criticisms from various quarters,” Barclay was quoted as saying by the publication when asked to respond about Arthur’s comments.
“Things that perhaps we’ll take away and try to work on, try to do better… so this event’s only [at] the start. Let’s see how the whole thing plays out and we’ll go away and we’ll review what could change, what we can do better, how we can improve World Cups and the general offering around cricket.
“We will just take it as it plays out, get to the end of the event. I’m satisfied that it will still be an outstanding World Cup.”
Arthur, meanwhile, admitted that Pakistan didn’t play fearless cricket on the day.
“We were a little bit timid tonight with our overall performance. I would have liked us to really take the game on just a little bit more. It’s a massive occasion, as we know, but I think we just went into our shells a little bit,” Arthur said.
With PTI inputs
Topics mentioned in this article