World Cup 2019: Shoaib Akhtar rubbishes conspiracies surrounding India’s influence on pitches
He also felt sad for South Africa, who lost their first three matches.
Updated - Feb 17, 2020 7:31 pm
India started the 2019 World Cup on a winning note courtesy of a six-wicket victory over South Africa at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. Yuzvendra Chahal’s four-wicket haul and Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 122 made sure that the Men in Blue chase down 228 runs with 15 deliveries to spare. Their next encounter is against Australia on June 9 at the Kennington Oval in London.
However, following India’s triumph, conspiracies surrounding the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) influencing the authorities to get the pitches to favor India in England did the rounds. However, Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan fast bowler, has dismissed all sorts of speculations and mentioned that the Virat Kohli-captained team won as it played good cricket on Wednesday.
Akhtar reckoned that the ones who are believing those rumors gave the logic that nearly 80 percent of ICC’s funding comes from India and hence the BCCI is manipulating pitches. Shoaib countered it, saying that the groundsmen in England don’t even listen to the English team.
“No matter what the English team keeps telling them, they make the grounds as per their wish. There are a few guidelines that they follow, but apart from it, they do not listen to any person or body,” Akhtar was quoted as saying in a video posted on his official YouTube account.
India won because of its capabilities
He also felt sad for South Africa, who are languishing in the ninth spot after losing all their three matches. Previously, Faf du Plessis and Co started the World Cup with a 104-run defeat at the hands of hosts England and then slumped to a 21-run loss to Bangladesh. The Proteas are next scheduled to lock horns with the Windies on June 10 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
“I feel sorry for them (South Africa). I don’t know why they are not playing well. I know they are dispersed – they have fitness issues, there is a leadership crisis – but they still could have played consistently for 50 overs. India won because of its capabilities. You will have to agree that India was a better team than South Africa,” Akhtar added.