In a recent wave of unfounded conjecture, Pakistan has been abuzz with a conspiracy theory suggesting that the Indian fast bowlers’ remarkable performance in the ongoing ODI World Cup can be attributed to their use of distinct cricket balls supplied by the International Cricket Council (ICC). This theory was further ignited by former Pakistan cricketer Hasan Raza, who insinuated that something dubious was afoot during an interview with a channel called ABN.
“We have observed a peculiar pattern where the Indian batsmen excel, but when India takes the field to bowl, the ball behaves mysteriously. There have been several contentious decisions favoring the Indian team through the Decision Review System (DRS). Watching Siraj and Shami’s remarkable ball movement, one could even speculate that the ICC or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might have provided them with unique and enigmatic cricket balls for the second innings. It is imperative to conduct a thorough examination of the cricket ball. There might even be an extra layer of coating on the ball to facilitate swing,” Raza suggested.
When posed with a similar question during a discussion on ‘A Sports,’ bowling legend Wasim Akram emphatically dismissed the notion, providing a comprehensive explanation for its implausibility.
“I have come across these rumors in recent days, and I must say, I’m intrigued. I would like to partake in this supposed privilege, as it appears to be quite entertaining. But we should also remember that such ideas stem from a lack of clarity. Self-deprecation seems to be a favored pastime, one that we must refrain from,” Akram quipped.
Akram then proceeded to elucidate the meticulous process of ball selection during a match. He highlighted that the team that wins the toss is given the opportunity to choose the playing ball. Umpires ensure that the selected balls are scrutinized for fairness and consistency. Moreover, a spare set of balls is provided in case a replacement is necessary. This entire process is closely monitored by various officials and individuals.
Akram concluded his argument by urging cricket enthusiasts to applaud the exceptional performance of the Indian bowlers rather than resort to unfounded speculations.
Acknowledging Akram’s perspective, former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq emphasized the meticulous wrist and seam positioning that the Indian bowlers have been consistently executing, attributing their success to skill and practice. Shoaib Malik echoed the sentiment, noting that often people tend to focus on negativity rather than celebrating accomplishments and seeking to learn from them.
The debate surrounding cricket balls and performance serves as a reminder of the importance of appreciating skill and hard work, as opposed to delving into baseless theories.