After inexplicable wash outs, mystical occurrences (read: Pakistan), some wizardly-type cricketing and an incredulous medley of comebacks and setbacks, a conspiracy theory has now been set loose upon the World Cup.
The theorist at hand is a former Pakistani cricketer Basit Ali, who came out on live TV and declared that India is conspiring to make Pakistan lose. The plot to his prophecy was such: Indian is losing matches on purpose, just like New Zealand did in 1992.
Ali believes India will intentionally lose to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka because they ‘never want Pakistan to reach the semifinals’.
“India have played five matches and they will never want Pakistan to reach the semifinals. They are yet to play Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Everyone saw the manner in which they beat Afghanistan…” Ali said on ARY News.
His comments left even the anchor perplexed and prompted him to confirm with Ali whether he was actually suggesting that India will lose on purpose.
“They’ll play in a way where you won’t know if they’re losing on purpose,” Ali replies. “What happened against Afghanistan? What did Australia do against India? Warner saab yehi the na (This was the same Warner, no?)” he adds, referring to the Australian opener David Warner, who scored a ton against Pakistan.
Basit Ali reckons India will not want Pakistan to qualify for the semi-finals and may play poorly in their matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh 🙄 #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/vwg3oFnnpl— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 26, 2019
There’s more. Evoking the much discussed World Cup of 1992, the self-proclaimed oracle said, “its rubbish when people say cricket is a game of chance. What happened in 92? New Zealand lost to Pakistan on purpose. Even Imran Khan will accept that. They lost so that they could play the semifinals in their own country… Will India want to play Pakistan in the semifinals? No. India never wants to take on Pakistan in knockouts.”
He’s at this point politely reminded of the 2011 World Cup semifinals, but unrelenting and stuttering just for a second, Ali replied: “Woh aa gaye the, toh khel liya… (Because we reached the semifinals, they had to play…).”
There are also some other gems that are thrown by him in the course of his interview like, “jaise siasat mein khel hai, waise khel mein siasat hai”.
One can’t help but be reminded of a commonplace but very effective axiom: The main thing about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting.
There’s also some other stuff, for instance, the inherent understanding -- that such theories tend to depend on conspirators -- who are unduly evil…and while we may not go there, Twitter most certainly is.
People have rubbished this analysis endlessly and Ali is being heavily trolled for his outlandish declarations. While most are busy making jokes around it, some of the most passionate in the lot cant help but establish some basic facts that topple Ali’s logic (or the lack of it)
pic.twitter.com/lAsi2fbv3D— Arjun (@LifeIsAnElation) June 26, 2019
I think these guys are gone crazy for sure, how on earth will they want to face New Zealand or Australia rather than Pakistan in the semis, that too when all their momentum is gone— Shahzad Farooq (@Shahzad91395611) June 26, 2019
Basit Ka apna career to khud match fixing me end howa To yeh Sab ko apnay Jesa hee samjhta hae — Saqib Ali Shah (@Saqibca) June 26, 2019
Virat Kohli On Hearing This pic.twitter.com/9liyLNewfd— Dr Khushboo (@khushikadri) June 26, 2019
pic.twitter.com/orsStf2IHI— K L RAHUL (@SirKLRahul) June 26, 2019
Very poor thinking by #BasitAli. At least @imVkohli won't think like him and #India would like to finish on top and unbeaten— smitesh sheth (@smiteshrsheth) June 28, 2019
More than any Pakistani every Indian would be aspecting and praying for Pakistan's win in remaining matches so that we can again crush them and trust me it's an another level of intoxication crushing them like a peanut pic.twitter.com/A2nV5Flpez— Amit Tayade (@tayade_amit) June 28, 2019
Hahahahhahahahahhahahahhaahhahahahahhaahhahahahhahahahhahahahahhahahahaaaahhahahahha— SaadButt (@SaadimranButt) June 26, 2019
Bewakof aadmi— @iam_Junid (@iranhind) June 26, 2019
pic.twitter.com/5QiVKWaA8x— Lipsa Sharma (@Shristiiiiiiiii) June 26, 2019
Seriously??? How are these kinda people finding air time on national television???— Satwinder Singh (@YOURPARMAR) June 26, 2019
Now with seven points in the bag, and games against Afghanistan and Bangladesh to come, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s team look as poised as any to pounce should England fail to chalk up wins from their remaining two games. India on the other hand, eased seamlessly to the verge of the semi-finals by defeating West Indies on Thursday – needing just a win from their remaining three games to fasten the seat belt in place this World Cup.