Ben Stokes has rubbished reports stating that he claimed India deliberately lost to England at the World Cup, calling it a “twisting of words” and “clickbait”.
Responding to a Twitter user, who questioned the authenticity of Stokes’ supposed statements being run on a Pakistan TV channel, the England all-rounder clarified that he “never said” anything about India intentionally underperforming against the hosts in their group stage clash at Edgbaston, with the alleged motive of effecting Pakistan’s exit from the tournament.
His comment came in response to former Pakistan quick Sikandar Bakht’s tweet, which proclaimed that Stokes had written on India’s attempt to eliminate Pakistan from the World Cup in his recently published book, On Fire.
“Ben Stokes writes in his book that India lost to England deliberately to remove Pakistan from world Cup 19 and we predicted it Pakistan India relationship @TheRealPCB @TheRealPCBMedia,” the tweet read.
You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called “twisting of words” or “click bait” 🤷♂️ https://t.co/uIUYXVaxLB
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) May 28, 2020
Earlier this week, an excerpt from the book made the rounds on social media, highlighting Stokes’s astonishment at India’s lack of intent in their chase of 338 during the Birmingham game, with MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav’s scratchy, unbeaten knocks leaving the side with a 31-run defeat.
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won,” the excerpt read.
“[T]here was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke.”
A week after the India-England game, Pakistan were officially knocked out of the World Cup, failing to qualify for the semi-finals despite their 94-run win over Bangladesh in their final group game.