Former Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq said that there is no doubt that India lost to England in 2019 world cup intentionally last year and the match has now again come under scrutiny since excerpts from Ben Stokes’ latest book ‘On Fire’, on the match, came into light last week.
No intent from Dhoni
Stokes, in his book, analysed England’s World Cup matches, and while addressing the clash against India, the all-rounder wrote that “there was little or no intent from Dhoni” in the match. He also described the partnership between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as “mystifying”.
Talking about the same former Pakistan bowler Sikander Bakht, on Twitter, said that even Stokes wrote India lost intentionally to England to remove Pakistan from the World Cup.
However, despite Stokes denying the claims on social media and calling the suggestions as “clickbait”, 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.”
India lost the match intentionally
When asked by the anchor if he thinks India deliberately lost, Razzaq answered in the affirmative. “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.
As for the match, the two teams saw the hosts England setting a mammoth target of 338 for the Virat Kohli-led side. Despite Rohit Sharma’s hundred, India failed to surpass the target, finishing at 306/5 in 50 overs.
Former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed said that West Indies players had told him 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.