“What a tight slap on the faces of all those across…”: Sunil Gavaskar Dismisses Conspiracy Theories, Urges Pakistan To Focus On Performance

Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has strongly refuted claims of a conspiracy regarding India’s performance in the Asia Cup 2023, where some speculated that India deliberately lost a Super 4 match against Sri Lanka to prevent Pakistan from reaching the final. Gavaskar expressed his exasperation with such allegations and criticized those who entertained such baseless thoughts. He highlighted the importance of focusing on team performance and advised Pakistan to concentrate on their own game rather than engaging in finger-pointing.

The India vs. Sri Lanka match during the Asia Cup 2023 was hotly contested and saw India secure victory by 41 runs after facing significant challenges. However, some individuals, particularly across the border, suggested a conspiracy theory that India intentionally lost the game to deny Pakistan a place in the final. Sunil Gavaskar vehemently rejected these claims and emphasized the irrationality of such accusations.

Sunil Gavaskar expressed his disbelief at the conspiracy theories and criticized those who propagated them. He questioned the logic behind such allegations, pointing out that had India lost to Sri Lanka and Pakistan subsequently defeated Sri Lanka, it would have been India who failed to qualify for the final. Gavaskar labeled those entertaining such thoughts as “morons” and highlighted the absurdity of their claims.

“What a tight slap on the faces of all those across the Western border who were screaming and shrieking that Bharat after being dismissed for 213 against Sri Lanka was purposely losing the game so as to deprive Pakistan of a place in the final. Did these brainless people even think of the possibility that after Bharat loses the game to Sri Lanka and then Pakistan beat Sri Lanka and the Bharat v Bangladesh game gets rained off, it was Bharat who would not have qualified for the final. So why would Bharat lose deliberately to Sri Lanka? Morons,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.

Gavaskar drew attention to a similar incident during the 2019 World Cup, where allegations of a conspiracy emerged when India played their final group game against England. In that match, India appeared to play conservatively in their run chase, and conspiracy theories suggested that they intentionally batted slowly to prevent Pakistan from advancing in the tournament. Gavaskar refuted these claims and stressed that teams would do whatever it takes to secure their place in the final, but it is essential to focus on one’s own performance rather than relying on other teams’ outcomes.

He added, “When Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka and were knocked out of the tournament, we were expecting some more conspiracy theories blaming Bharat for the loss, but surprises never cease so they forgot everything else and concentrated on lambasting their skipper Babar Azam for their exit from the tournament.”

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Gavaskar urged Pakistan and other teams to take responsibility for their own performances and aim to win all their games to secure their place in tournaments’ knockout stages. He emphasized that depending on another team’s results can be frustrating and encouraged teams to strive for excellence and self-reliance in cricket tournaments.

“A similar conspiracy theory was propounded when Bharat lost to England in the group game of the 2019 World Cup. The allegations were that MS Dhoni, of all people, deliberately batted slowly. Those who know MSD will vouch for the fact that he likes to take the game deep and then go bang-bang. England bowled superbly so he couldn’t do it then, but the morons thought it was done deliberately to deny them a place in the semi-finals,” he added.

Former Indian skipper concluded, “Let’s be frank and understand that when it comes to the World Cup teams, they would do anything to ensure they get to the final. That said, why depend on another team for your team’s progress? Why don’t you win all the games and win the tournament yourself instead of pointing fingers at any other team? It must be galling to depend on Bharat to qualify for the knockout stages of a tournament.”

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