The spate of fixing controversies in cricket have certainly hurt the game’s truthfulness. Former Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali is not ready to believe that cricket is a game of chances any more. Speaking on the current scenario at the ICC World Cup on a Pakistani channel, Basit said India will not like to see the Men in Green in the semi-finals and chances of Virat Kohli’s side losing their final two games against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are not unlikely.
He said the only thing Pakistan can do is to concentrate on their own game. The 48-year-old said this on the eve of his country’s crucial match against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Pakistan bowlers came out blazing against the Kiwis after Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat. Young left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi’s opening burst rattled the New Zealand top order and they were reduced to 4 for 46 in the 13th over when Williamson and James Neesham held things together.
Williamson fell for 41 and Colin de Grandhomme had a crucial partnership with Neesham for the sixth wicket to take the Black Caps closer to 200. While New Zealand require just one win to make the semi-finals, Pakistan need to win all their three remaining games (including Wednesday’s) if they fancy their chances in the last four. They have five points from six games at the moment and will eye the maximum they can muster from this point onwards which is 11.
“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 the way they played against Afghanistan everyone saw it,” Basit was quoted as saying something suggestive by Pakistan-based ARY News. When teh anchor expressed his shock over Basit’s indications, 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.”
In 1992, NZ lost deliberately to Pak, says Basit
Basit, who played 50 ODIs for Pakistan and was known for his hard-hitting game, also accused Australia’s David Warner of deliberately playing slow against India in this World Cup at the Oval. He even alleged that in 1992, New Zealand had deliberately lost to eventual champions Pakistan so that they could play the semi-final on their own soil. In 1992, despite the loss to Pakistan in their final league game, NZ had ended as the topper in the points table.
England’s back-to-back losses in the tournament have raised hopes of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to make the semi-finals. If India beat England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in their final three matches, it might help Pakistan to go through. However, they would also have to win their own games scheduled against Afghanistan and Bangladesh after the NZ clash.