Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur’s controversial comment on the ambience and the arrangement at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad after the team’s loss to India in the World Cup encounter on October 14 has faced criticism from not only Indian cricketers and cricket fans but also a section of the Pakistani cricketing fraternity. On Monday, the ICC also responded to the criticism made by Arthur.
Arthur had said it was feeling like a BCCI event at the stadium instead of an ICC event.
Following their eighth World Cup loss against India, the joint-most by a side against a single opposition, Arthur complained about the partisan crowd and no Pakistani music being played at the venue which made him feel like a “BCCI event than ICC”. No fans from Pakistan have been granted visas to travel to India for the World Cup and the handful present were residents from different countries.
“Look, I’d be lying if I said it did [not affect us],” Arthur said after the match. “It didn’t seem like an ICC event, to be brutally honest. It seemed like a bilateral series; like a BCCI event.”
Pakistan coach Grand Bradburn too felt the conditions were heavily tilted towards hosts India.
“We are really sad that our supporters aren’t here, they would love to be here and I am sure Indian cricket fans would love our supporters here as well. It was certainly unusual in that way, no familiar music for us today. So it did not feel like a World Cup game, honestly…we are disappointed that we did not do justice to the occasion or justice to our many fans at home and globally,” he said after India beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in a one-sided contest.
When asked, ICC chairman Greg Barclay downplayed it as mere criticism that every World Cup edition faces.
“Every event that we have, there’s always criticisms from various quarters,” Barclay was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the International Olympic Committee Session in Mumbai where T20 cricket’s inclusion was voted for in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
“Things that perhaps we’ll take away and try to work on, try to do better… so this event’s only [at] the start. Let’s see how the whole thing plays out and we’ll go away and we’ll review what could change, what we can do better, how we can improve World Cups and the general offering around cricket.
“We will just take it as it plays out, get to the end of the event. I’m satisfied that it will still be an outstanding World Cup.”
Despite the loss, Pakistan remained in the fourth spot in the points table with two wins and a loss in three games. They had earlier won against Netherlands and Sri Lanka. They have their next game against Australia, who have finally got their campaign rolling by beating Sri Lanka, in Bengaluru on October 20.