Did India Lose To England Deliberately?
On Sunday something highly unlikely happened, something that had never happened before and is unlikely to ever happen again, Pakistan cricket fans praying for Indian team to win thereby knocking England out of the World Cup and securing a spot for Pakistan in the semi-finals.
That as we all know didn’t happen and England after its two previous defeats, fought hard and won, keeping its World Cup hopes alive and leaving Pakistan team fans now pinning their hopes on the Kiwis to defeat the hosts in their upcoming match on July 3.
But praying for New Zealand to win is not all some Pakistani fans are doing, some diehards out there, including former cricketer Basit Ali are certain that India deliberately lost the match to ensure that Pakistan gets knocked out the tournament. Now any rational person will immediately dismiss the notion and not just because of the current Indian cricket team’s professionalism; the entire premise that India will sacrifice its position as the only unbeaten side to spite Pakistan is plain stupid.
However, in Pakistan whenever anyone hears the words India and cricket, logic goes out the window and for a tiny second, somewhere a voice in your head whispers, what if it’s true. No matter how hard you try to dismiss this voice it persists, like an itch.
What is a person to do on this scenario? Well the first thing I did was discussed the idea with my mother. “Of course they lost deliberately are you stupid, its India they are our enemy they hate us, they will never let Pakistan qualify for the semifinals. Why do you think Jinnah made Pakistan???!!!”
“So that India can get the extra 4 points in the World Cup by defeating Pakistan and Bangladesh,” I replied, trying to diffuse her anger with humor, a move that has never worked with my mother and didn’t work last night. After being unceremoniously kicked out of her room I saw my brother. Ah, finally someone sane. “Do you think India lost deliberately? ” I asked him. To my relief he started laughing. I was sure that the word that would come out of his mouth will be a robust, NO. Once again I was wrong. Instead of dismissing the notion my brother delivered a ‘learned’ analysis of the match.
“Yes, but they should have done it subtly….they are so stupid they made it obvious, even the Indian cricketers commented on it, it’s something that we (Pakistan team) have also done in the past but we were more cunning about it. ”
What the ….. I was more confused than ever, so I called a close friend. “Of course not, don’t be stupid (the second time I was hearing the phrase in one night), India is a professional team, who do you think they would prefer to face in the semis, a team they obliterated or one of the favourites of the tournament?” “But it seemed as if they were not even trying and people are saying on Twitter,’ before I could finish my question my friend interrupted: ‘these people are absurd don’t listen to them, they are just conspiracy nuts.’
“Maybe, but why didn’t Dhoni try to hit boundaries and even Saurav Gangluy said that he couldn’t explain what was going on,” I said. “Dhoni was trying to make sure that their run rate didn’t dip and Ganguly’s criticism doesn’t mean they lost deliberately,’” my friend replied rationally. But I didn’t want rational, I wanted confirmation, whether the voice in my head was right or wrong. With the uncertainty becoming unbearable, I decided to check the one place where any idea, however ridiculous, gets credence -Twitter.
Some ridiculous tweets later, I had it, the proof that I was looking for. A picture of Virat Kohli holding a burger. As any self-respecting cricket fan knows, Kohli doesn’t eat carbs, so why is he holding a burger? Because he is obviously trolling Sarfaraz, who after Pakistan’s loss to India has been under fire for his lack of fitness. Who among us hasn’t seen the viral ‘ye raat ko burger khatay rahay’ video. (Never mind that Kohli had just scored 66 runs and was probably famished or the snack he was holding might not be a burger after all or made from gluten free bread). India lost deliberately, I am sure of it and logic isn’t going to change my mind. After all, it’s India and cricket, two words that have the power to change any sane Pakistan cricket fan into a raving lunatic.