The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is contemplating approaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to their disappointment with the conduct of the crowd at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium during the India-Pakistan 2023 ODI World Cup clash on Saturday.
The stadium was filled to capacity for this high-profile encounter, which India comfortably won by seven wickets. The majority of spectators were Indian fans, as Pakistani fans were unable to obtain visas for the match. The record-breaking crowd demonstrated their presence early in the game by jeering when Babar Azam spoke during the coin toss.
Furthermore, religious chants were repeatedly heard, and the crowd subjected Mohammad Rizwan to toxic remarks and trolling after he was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah in the first innings.
According to a report from The Telegraph, the PCB is deeply concerned about the treatment their players received during the match. The matter is currently under review by senior officials at the PCB’s headquarters, and a final decision will only be made after PCB President Zaka Ashraf returns to Lahore on Monday.
Prior to this, the Pakistani team had played their warm-up matches and league-stage games in Hyderabad, where they were warmly supported by fans in the stands. They achieved consecutive victories at this venue, including a remarkable run-chase of 345 against Sri Lanka.
Members of the coaching staff, Grant Bradburn and Mickey Arthur, expressed their views on the absence of fans from across the border for the crucial match. Arthur, in particular, emphasized that the event felt more like a bilateral series than an ICC-sanctioned tournament. His comments, which likened the match to a BCCI-sponsored event, received substantial online criticism.
“It didn’t have the feel of an ICC event, to be frank. It seemed more like a bilateral series, more like a BCCI event. ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ wasn’t echoing through the microphones too often tonight,” Arthur stated during the post-match press conference.
Bradburn also concurred with his colleague, stating that the contest did not have the ambiance of a World Cup encounter and expressed the desire for Indian cricket fans to welcome their Pakistani counterparts. In summary, the match did not live up to the expectations of being a typical ICC World Cup fixture.