Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez says he “felt bad for the sport” watching India’s defeat to England in the group stage of the 2019 World Cup.
The loss has been a subject of hot debate, with the result making it much harder for Pakistan to qualify for the semi-finals, something they eventually failed to do.
Going into the last 10 overs, India had six wickets in hand and needed just over 10 runs an over. But though they lost just one more wicket, they ended up 31 runs short of England’s total, and some have suggested the 2011 champions slowed down on purpose to eliminate their rivals.
While Hafeez didn’t go so far as to blame the match for Pakistan’s exit, he did say that he “did not see the match-winning intent” from India.
“Ask any cricket fan, everyone will say intent to play with spirit was not there,” Hafeez said during a video conference organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). “I don’t know about the results and who went out because of that. We played good cricket and we were out because of our small mistakes. So I can’t blame any result for that
“But as a fan if I see the match, I did not see the match-winning intent. I felt bad for the sport. The encounter factor was missing where both teams were playing to win. The mistakes we made, we failed to tick a few boxes in the 2019 World Cup. But as a fan, that is my opinion about that game.”