Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur went on to state that the IND vs PAK World Cup match felt like a BCCI-organised bilateral rather than an ICC event.
Pakistan coach Grant Bradburn and team director Mickey Arthur were not amused by the way the crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad treated them during their World Cup 2023 match against India on Saturday. India outplayed Pakistan to beat them by seven wickets and go on top of the points table with a dazzling performance in front of more than one lakh people in the world’s largest cricket stadium but the pratison crowd in India’s favour did not go down well with the Pakistan coaches.
Both Arthur and Bradburn agreed that they were not expecting great support but not to any Pakistan fans in the sea of blue was certainly surprising. Arthur in fact, went on to state that it felt like a BCCI-organised bilateral cricket match rather than an ICC event.
“Look, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t,” Arthur said when asked if the huge crowd all in favour of India had any role in Pakistan’s below-par performance. “It didn’t seem like an ICC event to be brutally honest. It seemed like a bilateral series; it seemed like a BCCI event.”
Arthur also went on to complain about the choice of music during the match which was heavily loaded in favour of India. “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 added.
When asked if this was allowed in an ICC event like the World Cup, Arthur dodged the question by saying he doesn’t want to get fined by commenting on it. “Look I don’t think I can’t comment on that just yet. I don’t want to get fined,” he said.
‘It did not feel like a World Cup game, honestly’: Bradburn
Bardburn too complained about the in-stadia music during the match. “Naturally that was going to be the case. We are really sad that our supporters aren’t here, they would love to be here and I am sure Indian cricket fans would love our supporters here as well. It was certainly unusual in that way, no familiar music for us today. So it did not feel like a World Cup game, honestly. We didn’t expect anything else. We love the occasion and we are disappointed that we did not do justice to the occasion or justice to our many fans at home and globally,” he said in the ICC mixed zone after the match.
Pakistan’s poor show and Ahmedabad anything like Hyderabad
That it was going to be completely the opposite of what Pakistan experienced at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad for their first two matches in this tournament was evident when captain Babar Azam was booed at the toss. With visa issues due to the political tension between the two countries, Pakistan fans were unable to travel to Ahmedabad to support their team. The handful of them – perhaps less than 20 – who did were either lucky or had passports from another country.
This obviously meant it was a sea of blue in India’s favour. Pakistan cricketers did not receive the warmth they did in Hyderabad. Instead, they were booed, jeered and sloganed at every sight. The disappointing cricket they played in the middle made matters worse. India bowled out Pakistan for a paltry 191 and then chased down the target with 19.3 overs to spare on the back of a brilliant 86 from skipper Rohit Sharma. Arthur admitted his team let themselves down with only captain Babar Azam (50) and Mohammad Rizwan (49) contributing major runs.
“I thought we were a little bit timid,” said Arthur of the batting. “I did think we could probably have taken on the Indian spinners just a little bit more.”
Five Indian bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja – grabbed two wickets each as Pakistan folded in 42.5 overs having been 155-2 at one stage.
“I think we’ve got to realise that there are two ways to always skin a cat,” said Arthur. “And we’ve had success by taking it deep and then cashing in at the back end but we couldn’t do that.”
With the win India extended their unbeaten record against Pakistan in World Cups to 8-0, with Arthur also involved as head coach in the 2019 event in the UK. Source