In the wake of Pakistan’s loss to India in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup group-stage clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday (October 14), Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur openly admitted that his team had adopted a “timid” approach and couldn’t force the pace, mainly due to the overpowering presence of an enthusiastic 100,000-plus partisan crowd that made the event feel more like a bilateral game organized by the Indian cricket board. Arthur pointedly referred to Pakistan supporters not being granted visas for the World Cup.
Still, when questioned further about the crowd’s influence on the players, he expressed his thoughts cautiously, saying, “Look, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. 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.”
Despite the crowd’s influence, Arthur didn’t seek excuses for Pakistan’s defeat. He emphasized the need for the team to focus on living in the moment and how they would combat the Indian players.
— ICC (@ICC) October 14, 2023
In particular, Arthur’s mention of ‘Dil Dil Pakistan,’ a well-known song played at ICC events, sparked curiosity among journalists. When probed further, Arthur refrained from making additional comments, aware of the potential consequences as quoted in a PTI report.
Responding to the situation, a senior BCCI official gave a light-hearted response, pointing out the irony in playing ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ when there were no fans present, as per the same report
Acknowledging that Pakistan’s approach was timid on the day, Arthur expressed his desire for a more aggressive strategy and criticized the team for retreating into a defensive mindset. He acknowledged that despite the solid start, both Babar and Rizwan couldn’t capitalize on their partnership. Nevertheless, he refrained from criticizing their style.
Arthur suggested that Pakistan’s success often involves taking the game deep in ODIs and then capitalizing at the back end. However, he was disappointed that they did not follow this approach in this fixture on Saturday (October 14).
When questioned about the record of 8-0 in favour of India, Arthur explained that this was not a topic of discussion within the team. He stated that the team approaches every game with a mindset focused on winning, ensuring that their game is in place.
(With Inputs From PTI)