Last week, ICC took internet by storm after releasing the promotional video for the 2023 ODI World Cup, which will take place in India starting October 5. Among the reasons for the video going viral on social media, especially in the sub-continent region, was the appearance of Bollywood supertstar Shah Rukh Khan. However, Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar was left infuriated at the video over the absence of Babar Azam as he blasted ICC for ignoring the Pakistan captain.
The two minute and 13 seconds long clip comprises of fans reactions and moments from past World Cup matches which included that iconic six from MS Dhoni as well which had helped India win the 2011 edition of the tournament. It also features a star-studded line-up of Indian cricketers in Jemimah Rodrigues, Dinesh Karthik, and Shubman Gill, besides a few guest appearances from some of the greats of the game – Eoin Morgan, the 2019 World Cup-winning England captain, former South Africa player Jonty Rhodes, and Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.
However, while the video did include World Cup moments of the Pakistan cricket team, contrary to the opinion of Akhtar, with appearances of Wahab Riaz and Shaheen Shah Afridi. However, neither did it feature Pakistan skipper Babar nor was the nation’s 1992 World Cup win shown in the video.
“Whoever thought that World Cup promo will be complete without Pakistan & Babar Azam’s significant presence, has actually presented himself as a joke. Come on guys, time to grow up a bit,” tweeted Akhtar.
The 2023 World Cup will begin from October 5 onwards with the opener being the repeat of the 2019 final, between England and New Zealand, at the Narendra Modi Stadium. This is the first time India will be hosting the ODI World Cup since 2011, when they had lifted their second trophy, adding to their historic 1983 triumph. However, the focus at the start of the tournament will remain on the blockbuster India-Pakistan clash in Ahmedabad on October 15.