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Holding downplays Stokes’ remarks, draws parallels with 1992 World Cup

Former Windies pacer believes teams manipulate playing conditions to their advantage

PHOTO: AFP/AP

Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding has downplayed the furor caused remarks of England all-rounder Ben Stokes regarding the 2019 World Cup match between the eventual champions and India.  

Stokes had 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.

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

Speaking on the same matter, Holding brushed aside the notion that India lost the match on purpose.  

“Because of the political situation between Pakistan and India, people will think it’s all politics and India needed to make sure Pakistan did not go through [to the semi-finals]. That takes it to another level,” said Holding on his official YouTube channel, Mikey - holding nothing back.

“If it was just a matter of a cricket match and you say oh you want an advantage and you can beat the West Indies easily than you can beat New Zealand. It will cause a furor but it won’t be as big as the one caused due to political tensions between Pakistan and India,” he added.

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He also reminded people about Pakistan’s triumphant 1992 World Cup campaign while talking about how teams manipulate playing conditions.

“We can look back at the 1992 World Cup where New Zealand lost to Pakistan which meant that Australia were knocked out. So you find that such things happen all the time,” he said. “When teams have a chance of manipulating the playing conditions or the rules to their best advantage, they are going to do it.”

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.