Remember 1992? Can Pakistan Still Win 2015 Cricket World Cup After Badly Losing to India and West Indies?

Pakistan cricket team has drawn widespread derision after performing miserably in its first two matches of World Cup 2015. Many Pakistanis are understandably very angry at the top batting order that fell like flies to create a new world record of the loss of 4 wickets in the first few minutes of the match against West Indies with the score stuck at 1 run.

While I agree with much of the criticism of the Pakistan cricket team for its poor performance seen so far, I do think the hysteria is unnecessary. All we have to do is to look at the history of Pakistan's performance in the 1992 World Cup which Pakistan won. 

Like the 2015 World Cup, the 1992 Cricket World Cup was hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Before going on to win the1992 World Cup, Pakistan lost badly to three teams: India, West Indies and South Africa. Here are the scores from these matches:

Pakistan (173 runs) lost to India (216/7) by 43 runs.

Pakistan (220/2) lost to West Indies (220/0) by 10 wickets. 

Pakistan (173/8) lost to South Africa (211/7) by 38 runs.

Pakistan were bowled out by England for  a meager 74 runs. Had luck not favored the Pakistanis with rain in England-Pakistan match, the "talented" 1992 players like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad would not have gone on to win the 1992 World Cup. Instead, they would have returned home defeated.

1992 World Cup Points Table Source: Wikipedia

Pakistan side remains as talented and resilient but unpredictable as ever. While the start of the 2015 World Cup is terrible for Pakistan's national team, it's too early to write them off. Let's hope Pakistan can still repeat the 1992 performance yet again. 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on March 1, 2015 at 1:31pm

In 1992 World Cup which Pakistan won, Pak XI 254/4 beat Zimbabwe 201/7 by 53 runs in Hobart, scoring their first win after losing to India and West Indies. Is history repeating itself in 2015?

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 23, 2019 at 10:27pm

Pakistan Cricket Team’s Eerily Similar Results to 1992 World Cup Win Has Fans Praying For Another Miracle
In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan had won just one of their first five matches, before mounting a stunning comeback and going on to lift the trophy when none had given them a chance.

After carrying the weight of the stinging public response for an entire week since India annihilated them, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men move to Birmingham with hope – they have proved that they are still alive – that their route to the final four remains. The light inside them was not broken.

As the team now will have to run the table against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid comparisons with the three times Pakistan have hoisted global trophies, the 1992 World Cup, 2009 World T20 and 2017 Champions Trophy. Each time they had to reach sudden death in the group stage before taking all before them.

There seems to be more witchcraft at play this time than ever, as Pakistan’s journey at the tournament till now co-incidentally mirrors their 1992 World Cup triumph.

In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan had won just one of their first five matches, before mounting a stunning comeback and going on to lift the trophy when none had given them a chance.

This time too, Pakistan won just one of their first five matches and would have been certain of heading home had they lost the tie against the Proteas.

Just like in 1992, Pakistan lost their opener to West Indies this time, won the second match, lost the fourth and fifth ties and won the sixth one. Their third matches in both editions were washed out.

Pakistan’s opponent for the seventh match, in both editions, are New Zealand, which remained unbeaten till that stage.

The similarities don’t end there, as Pakistan fans would point out. This is the first time since 1992 that the World Cup’s league stage is being held in the round-robin format.

Although this could all very well be coincidence, the lingering feeling of deja-vu hasn’t alluded fans, who are amused and excited, with some prophesizing that Pakistan is about to repeat their 1992 World Cup history.

So the wise oracles of Twitter are making predictions, other fans are busy issuing a word of caution: Don’t take Srafaraz Ahmed and his men lightly. The remaining, are chugging the humour that comes with the observation.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 25, 2019 at 10:28am

The similarities begin, credibly, with the format

In 1992, the tournament had nine teams, with everyone playing against everyone else and the top four progressing to the semi-finals.

In 2019, the tournament has 10 teams, and everyone plays everyone else and the top four progress to the semi-finals.

Even the playing conditions

In 1992, the administrators decided to use two new white balls per innings, one at each end.
In 2019, the teams are also playing with two new white balls per innings, one at each end.

Then, the most credible and compelling similarities - Pakistan's sequence of results:

In 1992, Pakistan's sequence for the first six games read: Lost, won, washout, lost, lost, won. In 2019, Pakistan's sequence for the first six games read: Lost, won, washout, lost, lost, won.

In 1992, Pakistan lost their opening game to West Indies. In 2019, Pakistan lost their opening game to West Indies.

That sequence will be tested firmly at Edgbaston on Wednesday when Pakistan take on New Zealand

In 1992, when Pakistan took on Martin Crowe's side, the co-hosts were unbeaten. Pakistan eased home by seven wickets in Christchurch and sealed their entry into the semi-finals.

In 2019, Pakistan take on an unbeaten New Zealand again. This time though, a win doesn't guarantee them a place in the last four, though considerably increases their chances. Also, a worrying sign for Pakistan fans: the 1992 game was the tournament's 34th match. Edgbaston will be this tournament's 33rd.

Around now, the theory starts stretching

In 1992, Pakistan had Inzamam-ul-Haq, one of their breakout stars.
In 2019, Pakistan have his nephew Imam-ul-Haq.

In 1992, a Pakistani left-hand batsman named Sohail (Aamir) was the Man of the Match in their sixth game.
In 2019, a Pakistani left-hand batsman named Sohail (Haris) was Man of the Match in their sixth game.

In 1992, India and then Australia had won the previous two World Cups.
In 2019, India and then Australia have won the previous two World Cups.

And finally, the theory goes bonkers

In 1992, Asif Ali Zardari, a former president of Pakistan and husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, was in jail.
In 2019, Asif Ali Zardari again is in jail.

In 1992, Aladdin was released as an animated musical film.
In 2019, an Aladdin reboot was released.

Before you get too carried away though, the 2019 Pakistan team is not going there. Not 1992 in any case, as Azhar Mahmood pointed out:

"If you see the 1992 World Cup and this one, there are a few similarities. But we're not thinking like that. If you look at the 1999 World Cup, the situation that we are in, Australia was in that situation. If they lost any games, they would've been out. We are in that situation. But for us, every match is a final, that is how we are looking at it. We know that if we perform poorly anywhere, we could be out."

So remember: it's Australia 1999, not Pakistan 1992, that Pakistan 2019 must emulate to win this.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 27, 2019 at 11:50am

t’s not #Pakistan versus Opposition but Pakistan versus Pakistan, says ex #Australia #Cricket captain Ricky Ponting.“Pakistan beats whoever they want to beat and they lose from whoever they want to..." #CWC2019 via @cricketracker

Pakistan’s strange repetition of their 1992 mission in 2019 so far has left a lot of people flummoxed. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side won their second successive game on Wednesday after losing to India and it was against New Zealand who were unbeaten thus far. The Men in Green’s sequence of match results in this World Cup has gone identical to the 1992 campaign and a lot of Pakistani supporters have started predicting their second title victory this year.

However, Pakistan are yet to go through to the semi-finals and besides winning their remaining two matches, they will also be praying that results in other games in the tournament go in their favour. They have seven points from as many games and are tied with Bangladesh. England, on the other hand, have eight from seven after two successive defeats while Sri Lanka have six in six.

While the World Cup has opened up because of Pakistan’s sudden resurgence, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has come up with a unique observation on the 1992 champions. The two-time World Cup winning captain said: “Pakistan beats whoever they want to beat and they lose from whoever they want to. Its not Pakistan vs the opposition. Its Pakistan vs Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The most unpredictable side in the world
Pakistan’s unpredictability is something that has always come up in discussion. Their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has also been heard saying ahead of the tournament that the ‘unpredictable’ tag actually helps them. Their inconsistent campaign had indeed vindicated their unpredictability. While they stunned a strong England by 14 runs after getting thrashed by the West Indies by 7 wickets in their opening match, they beat South Africa and New Zealand in back-to-back games after losing to Australia and India that had pushed them on the brink.

India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel also echoed Ponting’s thoughts ahead of the Pakistan-New Zealand match on Wednesday. Speaking on Star Sports during the pre-match analysis, the cricketer said that Pakistan’s main opponents are Pakistan themselves.

The Men in Green next play Afghanistan in the World Cup while their final game is against Bangladesh and if England lose both their games and the Asian sides win their next games, that match promises to be a virtual quarter-final.


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