World Cup 2019: Harbhajan Singh slams former Pakistani cricketer Basit Ali
What's the story?
Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh has slammed former Pakistani batsman Basit Ali, who claimed that India will deliberately lose their matches to evict Pakistan from the ongoing Cricket World Cup.
In case you didn't know..
Pakistan have come back strong following their shambolic 89-run defeat against their bitter rivals India. The Men in Green are on course to repeat their 1992 World Cup triumph having won their last three matches to stay alive in the tournament. However, India's loss against England has changed the scenarios for their qualification.
However, if New Zealand can beat England in their next fixture, it takes Pakistan through to the semi-final if they beat Bangladesh in their last group-stage fixture.
The 1992 World Cup winners are currently on the fifth spot of the table, fighting with New Zealand, England, and Bangladesh for the remaining three semi-final spots. On the other hand, if India wins any of their remaining two matches against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, they'd book a guaranteed place in the semi-finals. But, if England beats New Zealand in their next fixture, it will knock Pakistan out of the tournament.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to Pakistan-based news channel Ary News, former cricketer Basit Ali claimed that India will deliberately perform poorly in their matches against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to keep Pakistan from reaching the last four.
Speaking with India Today, Harbhajan Singh slammed the former Pakistani cricketer following his controversial remarks against the Indian side. After being asked for his response to Ali's comments, the veteran bowler replied:
"What makes him say that? Is he stupid? I don't know what is he smoking, seriously! He's got to be on a different planet in order for him to talk ill like this. That's probably the way they have played their cricket and that's how they see the game,"
After learning that Ali previously claimed that New Zealand deliberately lost their last league match against Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup to play in their own backyard, Harbhajan urged former Pakistani skipper and current Pakistan PM Imran Khan to 'fix' Basit Ali:
"I think Imran bhai should fix him now. I think he needs to be fixed because you can't put your team down like this by saying that '92 was fixed and now 2019 is fixed as well,"
India would have to win one of their remaining two fixtures to advance to the semi-finals. On the other hand, Pakistan's hopes are still alive as New Zealand beating England could take them through if they beat Bangladesh.
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