Former Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali has made a strong comment and allegation as a pundit on a TV channel while discussing the 1992 World Cup winners’ chances at the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Ali has suggested India will intentionally lose against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to hurt Pakistan’s chances of making the semi-finals. As things stand, India could book a place in the last-four with a win against West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester.
“India have played only five matches so far and they would never want Pakistan to qualify for the semi-final. India’s remaining matches are against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and everyone saw the way they played against Afghanistan,” Basit was quoted as saying by Pakistan-based ARY News.
When the anchor pressed Basit into elaborating, the former cricketer said nobody would know how they plan to play. “I personally feel Pakistan should only focus on their next match against New Zealand.”
“People don’t say that they will lose intentionally but India will play in such a way that people won’t be able to make any remarks. When playing Australia, David Warner didn’t play at all.”
“Cricket is not a game of chance. In 1992, New Zealand purposely lost to Pakistan (in the league stage) and Imran Khan would agree with that. The Kiwis lost so they could play the semi-final in their own country.”
Pakistan kept themselves alive in the World Cup after wins over South Africa and New Zealand. After winning the toss, Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson opted to bat at Edgbaston. Following a dreadful start in which New Zealand were 83/5 in the 27th over, they were taken to a respectable total by James Neesham (97*) and Colin de Grandhomme (64) to put together 237 runs.
In reply, Pakistan were in a decent place at 110/3 at the halfway mark in the chase. Babar Azam (101*) and Haris Sohail (68) put together a 126 run partnership for the fourth wicket to take the 1992 winners closer to the win. Sarfaraz Ahmed struck the winning runs in the final over to keep Pakistan on track for a possible place in the last four.