The slaughtered against the slaughterer. Who will win? Under normal circumstances, you’d say the slaughterer, but when the slaughtered is Pakistan and the slaughterer is England, it isn’t quite so simple. After all, in 1992, Pakistan lost to West Indies in their first match and still won the tournament. Of course, in another meme, someone pointed out that in 2007 Pakistan lost their first match and their South African coach died. Eep. Poor Micky Arthur.
Five Fearless Predictions
(1) Micky Arthur won’t die
It’s a meme, people. Bob Woolmer’s death was a tragedy, officially ruled as probably suicide, though it was an open verdict, leaving open the possibility that it can be reopened and declared to be murder. Anyway, Micky Arthur is pretty safe, I think.
(2) Pakistan won’t win the World Cup either
I know we are talking about a single match here, not the entire tournament, but I just don’t see it happening. I don’t think that Pakistan will get anywhere near the semi-finals here. But, then again, that didn’t look likely towards the end of the 1992 tournament either. It took a decision by New Zealand to lose their final match so that Australia wouldn’t make the semis, as a part of that trans-Tasman rivalry they share. Deliberately losing matches in World Cups wasn’t limited to the 1992 World Cup either – it happened in 1987, 1983, 1979, 1975, and later in 1999 too. They weren’t losses for bets – they were losses for strategic advantage in the tournament. It’s been 20 years since we last did that kind of thing, though, and Pakistan are so far from making the semis that even if it were to happen Pakistan are not close enough to the semis to take advantage of it.
(3) England will win this
I know that there’s some who think that Pakistan can do something amazing, but I’m not one of them. The only way Pakistan could win this is if England deliberately lose, and at this stage in the tournament that’s not going to happen. If this were the last match of the round-robin stage, then that’s another issue entirely, but even then, with so much more scrutiny about performances, that’s not going to happen in this tournament.
(4) It won’t be close
The margin will probably be similar to the margins in the other matches, so like 150 for Pakistan then England chase it down in 20 overs without losing a wicket, or perhaps we will see a truly huge score that is nowhere near being chased down. I think the fans deserve to see a big score, so fingers crossed.
(5) The hype will be enormous
England and Pakistan have so much history, not the least the spot fixing scandal of 2010, which involved Mohammad Amir, who is now back from his ban and playing in this match. He was originally left out of the squad, but was the only wicket taker in their opening loss to West Indies, so is going to play here, and that will just add to the hype. Go England! It’s coming home! What is the slogan again?