The International Cricket Council (ICC) and The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) recently unveiled their new campaign, ‘It Takes One Day,’ ahead of the much-anticipated ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India later this year. The campaign’s aim was to connect cricket fans from around the world in celebration of the sport they love. However, what was meant to unite turned into a source of disappointment and anger for many, as one crucial element was missing from the official promo.
History will be written and dreams will be realised at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 🏆
All it takes is just one day ✨ pic.twitter.com/G5J0Fyzw0Z
— ICC (@ICC) July 20, 2023
Shoaib Akhtar Slams the ICC for Excluding Babar Azam
Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the campaign. He criticized the ICC for excluding Babar Azam, the World No. 1 ODI batter and captain of the Pakistan cricket team, from its official promo. In his tweet, Akhtar stated, “Whoever thought that World Cup promo will be complete without Pakistan & Babar Azam’s significant presence, has actually presented himself as a joke.” He further took a jibe at the world cricketing body, urging them to “grow up a bit.”
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.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) July 22, 2023
The Outcry from Fans
Akhtar’s sentiments echoed the feelings of many cricket fans who quickly noticed the absence of Babar Azam from the promotional video.
— Maham Ch (@mahamch7486) July 20, 2023
They argued that the promo felt incomplete without the representation of the Pakistan cricket captain. Additionally, fans were upset about the heavy presence of Indian players in the video and the minimal inclusion of Pakistani stars.
Babar Azam, Fakhar & Imam are nowhere to be seen…they are ranked 1st, 3rd, & 4th in the @ICC ranking. Waseem, Javed, Inzi, the heroes of the winning team & Imran, the captain of 1992 are missing. India was shown 13 times, England 9… the rest got passing footage.
— Vaquas Alvi (@VaquasAlvi_) July 20, 2023
The exclusion of Babar Azam and the absence of Pakistan’s triumphant moment in the 1992 World Cup added fuel to the fire. Fans expressed their discontent, stating that such oversight was disrespectful and insensitive to Pakistan’s cricketing history and its captain’s achievements.
The World number 1 ranked ODI batter Babar Azam who's been ruling the 50 overs format for a long time has not been included in the official promo video of the ODI World Cup. Is it possibly because of the fact he's from Pakistan? https://t.co/G8ExOKOav6
— F (@falahtah) July 20, 2023
A Glance at the Star-Studded Campaign
The ‘It Takes One Day’ campaign, anchored by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, featured a lineup of renowned cricketers, including Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, current World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Jonty Rhodes, and Jemimah Rodrigues. The campaign aimed to build excitement for the upcoming World Cup matches, set to take place in India in October and November 2023.
The India-Pakistan Faceoff and Political Tensions
One of the most anticipated matches of the tournament is the high-voltage encounter between India and Pakistan, scheduled for 15 October 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Cricket fans worldwide are eagerly looking forward to this ultimate faceoff between the arch-rivals.
However, amidst the excitement, there have been political tensions between India and Pakistan, leading to concerns about Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has informed the ICC and BCCI that the national team’s participation in the event is subject to government clearance due to the strained relations between the two countries.
The Road to the World Cup
The World Cup tournament will feature ten teams, with eight already qualified – India, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The remaining two spots will be filled after qualifying matches between several teams, including West Indies, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Nepal, and Oman.
A Missed Opportunity for Inclusivity
The ‘It Takes One Day’ campaign had a noble goal – to connect cricket fans globally in celebration of the sport. However, the exclusion of Babar Azam and the limited representation of Pakistan’s cricketing history left a sour taste for many fans. This campaign should have been an opportunity for inclusivity and celebration of the diverse cricketing talent worldwide. As the tournament draws near, cricket enthusiasts hope that the ICC and BCCI will take note of the fans’ feedback and strive for a more inclusive and representative celebration of the sport during the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.
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