THE International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced the schedule of the World Cup that will get going on Oct 5. The promo for the mega international event has also been released. However, the promo does not communi-cate the feel of a global event. Anyone not in the know of things would take it as if it was related to some bilateral series between India and, say, England.

The video starts with flag of England, with an Indian child holding his national flag and running in the excitement of World Cup towards his family. I agree, the video starts with India because they are the hosts. But it is an ICC event, and promoting players mostly from a single country is a rather negative approach.

Pakistan is featured as the symbol of anguish, with the said promo featuring a rather disappointed Wahab Riaz.

Why? Are there not any winning or happy moments related to Pakistan? In contrast, India is used in the clip to communicate passion, with a Virat Kohli fan seen showing a tattoo of Virat on his body. The promo also shows Mohammad Amir, a fast bowler, getting bowled out. Both Amir and Wahab, mind you, are not currently part of the national outfit.

This is enough to show the narrow-mindedness of the organisers and the hosts. They could not feature a single clip of Babar Azam, the world’s top batsman. He is the captain of Pakistan team. He is among the top five in all the three international formats. And, yet, his name did not crop up in anyone’s mind. Amazing, right?

Or, by the looks of it, Babar’s name cropped up in their minds a bit too much. So much, actually, that it crept up under their skin and made them do blatantly stupid things; stupid on a global scale. Technically, it is the ICC at fault, but, obviously and undeniably, India is the culprit here. The ICC’s actual fault is its tendency to please India whatever the cost.

Surprisingly, the ICC promo featured the West Indies, a side that is already out of the World Cup, and left out Bang-ladesh, whose captain is the leading all-rounder in the format in which the Cup will be contested.

Even before the event gets under way, the ICC has ensured a layer of bitterness marring its own gala event, which is kind of sad.

The credibility of ICC, the global ruling body has certainly been dented.

Faqiha Eman

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2023