The race for the semi-final in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is gaining intensity with six teams in the fray for three spots. Australia is the only team to have sealed qualification while the West Indies, South Africa and Afghanistan are eliminated. India, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the only teams left in the fray. India and New Zealand need only one win to qualify for the semis while the likes of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka need to potentially win all their games and hope for other results going their way. However, before the final week of league games begin, there has been one serious allegation made by Basit Ali, the former Pakistan batsman.
Speaking to ARY News, Basit Ali has alleged that India will lose deliberately to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in order to knock Pakistan out of the tournament. “India would never want Pakistan to qualify for the semi-final. India’s remaining matches are against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and everyone saw the way they played against Afghanistan. People don't say that they will lose intentionally but India will play in such a way that people won't be able to make any remarks. When playing Australia, David Warner didn't play at all. Cricket is not a game of chance. In 1992, New Zealand purposely lost to Pakistan (in the league stage) and Imran Khan would agree with that. The Kiwis lost so they could play the semi-final in their own country,” Basit Ali said.
During the 1992 World Cup, New Zealand had won all seven games and was assured of a semi-final. Pakistan won their last league game against New Zealand to qualify for the semis and they defeated the Kiwis again in the last four stages to win the title. In 2019, Pakistan is facing a similar situation. The trend for Pakistan in the seven games has been similar to their 1992 journey in which they lost the opening game heavily, won one game and their third game was abandoned due to rain. They lost the next two matches before winning the next two games.
In 2019, Pakistan’s games are against Bangladesh and Afghanistan and they must win all the games. If they win both games, they have to hope India beat England and that Sri Lanka does not win more than two games. If India lose to both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the teams win two or more games, Pakistan will be eliminated.
Pakistan’s next game is against Afghanistan on June 29 while Sri Lanka faces a massive game against South Africa in Chester-le-Street on June 28.