Former Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq has said that there is no doubt that India lost the match against England intentionally at the ICC World Cup last year. The match has come under scrutiny once again since excerpts from Ben Stokes’ latest book ‘On Fire’, on the match, came into light last week. Stokes, in his book, has analysed all of England’s World Cup 2019 encounters, and while addressing the match against India, the all-rounder wrote that “there was little or no intent from Dhoni” in the match, and described the partnership between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as “mystifying”.
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Former Pakistan bowler Sikander Bakht, on Twitter, claimed that Stokes has written in his book that India lost intentionally to England to remove Pakistan from the World Cup. But despite Stokes denying the claims on social media, calling the suggestions as “click bait”, Razzaq believes that India did not play up to their full potential in the match.
Speaking in a Pakistan news channel ARY Sports on Saturday, Razzaq said: “We were watching the match, we all felt the same. I also think ICC should put a fine on this. If any team loses a match intentionally to make sure a team does not qualify, then the team should be fined for this. If a quality bowler is not trying to bowl according to his standards, not giving a good line and length, and bowling full length, and giving away runs, then it comes to notice.”
When asked by the anchor if he thinks India deliberately lost the match ensure Pakistan didn’t progress to the knock-out phase of the tournament, Razzaq answered in the affirmative.
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“There is no doubt (India lost the match intentionally). I said it at that time as well. Every cricketer felt the same. A player who can hit a six or a four is defending the ball, you just know,” he further added.
The encounter between the two teams saw the hosts England setting a mammoth target of 338 for the Virat Kohli-led side to chase. Despite Rohit Sharma’s hundred, India failed to surpass the target, finishing at 306/5 in 50 overs.
Former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed saying that West Indies players had told him after watching the game that India lost the game to stop Pakistan from entering the knockout stages. “I was working with the West Indies squad at last year’s World Cup. After India’s loss to England, Jason Holder, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell said to me, Mushy, India didn’t want to see Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals,” Mushtaq Ahmed had said in the same interview.
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