Hosts India trounced Pakistan last weekend in Ahmedabad, maintaining an impressive record against their arch-rivals and an overall unbeaten streak in the tournament. Off the pitch, however, there were plenty of missteps. Here are this week’s winners and losers:
(Bloomberg) — Hosts India trounced Pakistan last weekend in Ahmedabad, maintaining an impressive record against their arch-rivals and an overall unbeaten streak in the tournament. Off the pitch, however, there were plenty of missteps. Here are this week’s winners and losers:
1. Fraught diplomatic relations between South Asia’s two largest nations, who have fought multiple wars against each other, mean India and Pakistan’s national teams only play against each other in international tournaments. The rivalry is intense, and can get volatile. Pakistan’s cricket board filed a complaint with the International Cricket Council, the global governing body for the sport, alleging “inappropriate conduct” such as religiously charged chants from Indian fans as well as visa delays.
2. Makemytrip Ltd. sought to harness the anticipation of the India-Pakistan match with a newspaper ad leaning into the kind of banter that’s often shaped the rivalry. The travel services firm said it would offer visiting fans from Pakistan deeper discounts depending on the scale of their team’s defeat, but many on the Indian side found it to be in poor taste.
3. England face South Africa in the World Cup on Saturday — in both the cricket and the rugby. Fans of both sports will be hoping the day-long, 50-over format of the cricket match won’t result in it overlapping with the rugby semi-final.
1. Afghanistan defeated England for the first time, in only its third appearance at the tournament, against the defending champions. The feat is all the more remarkable considering that ever since the Taliban took over two years ago, professional cricket players and administrators fled the country in large numbers and have found a new home in Dubai. For a nation hit by multiple earthquakes in recent days resulting in thousands dead, the unexpected win may provide some cheer.
2. Paul van Meekeren played an instrumental role in the Netherlands’ shock win against South Africa. Three years earlier he was doing a spell of food delivery to get by during the pandemic.
3. Just as restaurants and malls around India are cashing in on the World Cup, theaters are moving beyond movies to also screen cricket matches.
–With assistance from Akriti Sharma, Satviki Sanjay and Menaka Doshi.
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