Former India pace bowler S Sreesanth responded to Mickey Arthur’s statement after the India-Pakistan 2023 World Cup match when he said that the game looked more like a BCCI event than an ICC one. Sreesanth said that Arthur should be shown the Bollywood movie “83” so that he understands the struggle behind the Indian cricket board’s rise to the top. However, India beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the 2023 ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14.
Speaking at the game, Pakistan Team Director Arthur questioned the absence of Pakistan fans at the stadium in the post-match press conference and made a statement regarding the game looking like a BCCI event as well. Responding to his observation, Sreesanth told Sportskeeda:
“Wherever India plays, it never seems like an ICC event is going on. It will always seem like a BCCI event. We should show him [Arthur] the movie 83 with subtitles. Then he can understand where BCCI was and where it is now. The journey is very important. It’s a motivational and inspirational story. BCCI has risen to the top on its own with much difficulty. The administrators and players are very good now. Even if our C team plays in the World Cup, it would be a brilliant team. What will the ICC say? All the revenues and everything… Would Mickey Arthur have said the same thing if the World Cup was being held in England? Even when I played in Durban for two years, I felt I was in India.”
However, Pakistan fans could not attend the much-awaited 2023 World Cup match in Ahmedabad due to visa delay issues. According to media reports, only a handful of Pakistani journalists could attend the game as well. And, reacting to Arthur’s comments, the ICC downplayed the controversy and shared that every event has its share of criticism as well.
Speaking on the sidelines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai, ICC chairman Greg Barclay was quoted as saying by AFP: “Every event that we have, there’s always criticisms from various quarters. Things that perhaps we’ll take away and try to work on, try to do better… so this event’s only [at] the start. Let’s see how the whole thing plays out and we’ll go away and we’ll review what could change, what we can do better, how we can improve World Cups and the general offering around cricket. We will just take it as it plays out, get to the end of the event. I’m satisfied that it will still be an outstanding World Cup.”