Pakistan Team Director, Mickey Arthur, expressed strong criticism about the absence of Pakistani fans during their 2023 World Cup match against India at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on October 14.
He voiced disappointment, describing the significant event as feeling more like a bilateral match arranged by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rather than an ICC tournament.
Reportedly, the BCCI faced challenges in coordinating with the Indian government to obtain travel approvals for Pakistan fans in time for the highly-anticipated World Cup match.
Additionally, visa approvals for Pakistani journalists were delayed. According to Cricbuzz, only a limited number of reporters from Pakistan were able to attend the match.
During a post-match press conference after Pakistan’s seven-wicket defeat, Arthur spoke candidly and said:
“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.”
“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 went on to add.
However, he declined to respond to a question about whether the match should have been arranged differently, mentioning that he wishes to avoid any potential fines.
“I thought we were a little bit timid” – Arthur shares his thoughts on Pakistan’s defeat to India
Setting aside his earlier remarks about the crowd, Arthur acknowledged that Pakistan was outperformed in the match against India. He described the team’s performance as somewhat lacking in aggression and said:
“I thought we were a little bit timid. I did think we could probably have taken on the Indian spinners just a little bit more. It was a wicket that didn’t turn massively, and I thought we needed to put some pressure back.”
”But again, they were building and building nicely. I think we’ve got to realize that there are two ways to always skin a cat. And we’ve had success 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,” he concluded.
After being put in to bat following the coin toss, Pakistan had a decent position with a score of 155/2 by the 30th over. However, they faced a dramatic collapse, losing eight wickets while adding only 36 runs, ultimately being dismissed for 191. India successfully chased the target in 30.3 overs.