A former Pakistan cricketer has made substantial allegations on a Pakistani TV news channel, asserting that the Apex Cricket Council (ACC) and the Indian Cricket Board (ICB) engaged in deceptive practices during the 2023 Cricket World Cup. According to Hasan Raza, there were claims that ICB and ACC provided India with distinct cricket balls tailored to enhance their abilities to produce seam and swing movement. Raza, who represented Pakistan in 7 Test matches and 16 ODIs from 1996 to 2005, primarily as a batsman, had a less noteworthy international cricket career.
Raza who is present in the show as cricket expert on the Pakistani channel ABN News, was questioned by the anchor about the possibility of unfair practices benefiting the Indian cricket team during matches. In response, Raza suggested that potential alterations might have been made to the balls used by the Indian bowlers, warranting a thorough investigation. The anchor asks, “Is there a possibility that Indian bowlers are given a different ball? The amount of seam and swing Indian bowlers are getting it seems Indian bowlers are bowling on a bowling wicket, ‘ajeebo gareeb’ (weird) seam and swing.”
Following this question, Raza replied “Shayad ball be change ho jata hai second innings mein; jiss tareeke se ICC ball de raha hai, ya fir third umpire panel de raha hai, ya BCCI de raha hai; iska inspection hona chahiye”, says Raza in Urdu. He says that ball is changed when India comes to bowl. Maybe ICC or BCCI is giving a different ball to India. The third umpire has also favoured India in World Cup matches.”
Raza believes there might be an issue with the type of ball that the Indian pacers, including Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah, are using. Despite their impressive form and the significant seam and swing they've achieved in the World Cup, he questions the ball they've been using. Shami, in particular, has stood out with two five-wicket hauls and has become the leading wicket-taker for India in the tournament with 45 wickets.
Watch the video here:
Akash Chopra replies to baseless criticism
These claims from a former cricketer have been widely discredited, with many expressing disbelief and scepticism on social media, particularly on X (formerly Twitter). Aakash Chopra, a former Indian opener and cricket expert, saw the viral video and regarded it as a parody. He questioned whether it was a serious cricket show and suggested labelling it as satire or comedy if it wasn't. Ayaz Memon, a seasoned cricket journalist, also found it difficult to believe that such analysis was being presented on television.
As of now, ICB has not issued any response to these allegations. The ICB may choose to ignore these unsubstantiated claims, as they do not appear to be receiving serious attention from social media or the wider cricket community.