During the Pakistan team’s World Cup match against India, Pakistan fans were not present at the Narendra Modi Stadium, which dismayed the management, which publicly expressed its disappointment and criticism.
In his report to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), team director Mickey Arthur expressed concern that the event was more like a bilateral event than an ICC-sponsored global championship.
“Look, I’d be lying if I said it did. To be brutally honest, it didn’t seem like an ICC event. It felt like a bilateral series; it seemed like a BCCI event. As Arthur said after Babar Azam side lost by seven wickets to India, Dil Dil Pakistan did not seem to appear too often on the microphone. Answering a question about whether a large crowd of 130,000 partisans had an effect on their performance, he replied, “No.”.
It’s true that that plays a role, but I won’t use it as an excuse, because for us, it was about the next ball and how we had to deal with the players from India,” the South African explained. Arthur left the question open-ended when asked specifically if such a thing should have happened at all. As I don’t want to get fined, I don’t think I can comment just yet.
Pakistan fans’ absence from the World Cup has been a major talking point, and the BCCI has been criticized for not cooperating with the Government of India to secure travel approvals for Pakistan fans. Just about half a dozen Pakistani journalists were able to attend this match due to an unusual delay in visa approvals.
Arthur’s viewpoints were endorsed by the Pakistan coach as well. “It was inevitable that our supporters wouldn’t be here today. We are very sorry they aren’t here. I am sure Indian cricket fans would enjoy seeing our supporters here as well. It was definitely unusual in that way, there was no familiar music for us today. We weren’t expecting anything else, so it didn’t feel like a World Cup. Grant Bradburn said, “We love this occasion, but we regret that we did not honor our many fans at home and abroad.”
Arthur didn’t have any qualms about Pakistan finishing second. “I think we were a little bit timid. I thought we should have taken on the Indian spinners a little bit more. The wicket didn’t turn much, so I thought we could have put some pressure back on them. But again, they were building and building nicely. I think it’s important to realize that there are always two ways to skin a cat. And we’ve succeeded by taking it deep and then cashing in at the back end. That’s been our style, that’s been our brand, but we didn’t play the Pakistan Way tonight, and that was the disappointing aspect of it for me.”
The Englishman also praised Rohit Sharma’s men, saying he saw finalists in them and hoped that his side would be there for the title fight as well. The Indian team is a good cricket team. They’re well led by Rahul and Rohit. They’re looking good. They’ve covered all bases, and I look forward to seeing them again in the final.
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