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Gayle said India conspired against Pakistan in 2019 World Cup: Mushtaq

Former spinner believes the Kohli-led side showed no intent during their bowling as well

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has said that West Indies hard-hitting opener Chris Gayle suggested to him that India conspired to kill the Men in Green’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of 2019 World Cup.

Mushtaq, who was working for West Indies as an assistant coach for spin bowling at the mega event, made the aforementioned claim while speaking to a local news channel on Friday.

"I was working with the West Indies squad at last year's World Cup. After India's loss to England, Jason Holder, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell said to me, Mushy, India didn't want to see Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals. There is no rocket science in it," said Mushtaq.

"England commentators, Nasser Hussain and Michael Artheton, had also pointed this issue out then. If you try to play with cricket, it will play with you. India became overconfident as everyone thought they were favourites," he added.

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It must be noted that the furor started when England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes published a book titled ‘On Fire’, where he questioned the tactics of the Indian team in match against England.

According to Stokes, the way opener Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli played was mystifying while also saying that wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni showed no intent of winning the game.

However, Mushtaq believes the Kohli-led side showed no intent during their bowling as well.

"We are only discussing that India didn’t show any intent while batting. I think there was no intent when they were bowling as well. When you pick up two or three early wickets then you try to wrap up the innings as a captain. You don’t let the opposition build a partnership. England shouldn’t have made 337 after they lost two or three wickets early," he said.

It must be noted that if India had defeated England, it would have increased Pakistan’s chances of going into the event’s knockout stage.

Sharma hit 102 but India fell short of their 338-run target in 31-run loss at Edgbaston.

Kohli's side looked capable of making a record World Cup run chase at 198 for two from 36 overs, only to lose the plot in the last 10 overs.