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Pakistan can repeat their 1992 World Cup success in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup
Pakistan cricket team and unpredictability are made for each other. This team can give you a world class performance one day and gully-level cricket the next day. They can get all out for 105 against the West Indies, but can come back to beat England by scoring 350 runs the other day.

Barring cricket, the country has practically nothing else to be proud of in sports and their national team is not delivering at present at the ICC World Cup 2019 being held in England & Wales. The team committed the biggest crime by losing to India. In addition, it is precariously placed on the points table with a very thin chance of making it to the semifinals. Faced with wide spread criticism, particularly abuses, the team members are in a perilous position along with their Captain Sarfaraz Ahmad.

It is because Pakistan has played mostly gully cricket in this edition of the World Cup.

Let us rewind back to the 1992 edition of Cricket World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. Like the current event, the format was round robin, but with 9 teams. South Africa, after the ban being lifted, imposed on them due to their anti-apartheid policy, was the last-minute addition to the original 8 teams. Pakistan's first five matches out of eight placed them near the bottom of the points table. With a solitary win against lowly Zimbabwe, and a washed-out game against England, Pakistan had lost to West Indies, India and South Africa.

Their next three rivals were Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

There was uproar in Pakistan with Imran Khan and Javed Miandad facing most of the wrath. The loss to India was like applying salt on the recently exposed wound. Their semifinal chances were bleak, not impossible though. They had to win all their matches and hope some other results favor them.

On 18th March 1992, the last day of round robins, three matches were played at different venues to decide the fourth semifinalist as New Zealand, England and South Africa were already through. Australia, Pakistan and West Indies were vying for the coveted qualification.

West Indies had the simple task; win against Australia and qualify. Australia had to win against West Indies and hope New Zealand beat Pakistan. Pakistan had to win against yet-to-be-beaten New Zealand and hope Australia wins against West Indies.

Rameez Raza's century and Wasim Akram's four-wicket haul helped Pakistan overcome the first hurdle. David Boon's century enabled Australia to set a target of 216 for the West Indies to win. The chase faltered right from the start. Brian Lara was the lone man fighting against the Aussie might. When he was run out as the 8th wicket with 80 runs still needed, the writing was on the wall.

Lady luck smiled at Pakistan and they went on to lift the trophy.

27 years later, Pakistan is in the same situation. Poor start to the tournament, convincing defeat by arch rival India and almost impossible task of semifinal qualification. They are pushed to a corner. History is witness to the fact that Pakistan has always bounced back when faced with such situation.

All is not lost for Pakistan. After a stupendous victory over South Africa, Pakistan will have to win the remaining three matches against Afghanistan, Bangladesh and New Zealand to have a bright chance of reaching the semifinal.  They will have tough opposition from Bangladesh and New Zealand who are also in the race for the semifinal spot. Afghanistan is eliminated already, but not an easy push over as Pakistan lost to them during the warm up match.

The point is, Sarfaraz and his team should take inspiration from their 1992 campaign. Of course, Sarfaraz is no Imran Khan as far as captaincy goes, but he can take a leaf out of his captaincy and motivate team members to give their 100 per cent. There is no dearth of talent in the Pakistani team as they have already beaten tournament favorites England, but what is lacking is consistency. Sarfaraz & Co should be in a mission mode to perform consistently.

Once in knock out stages, it is anybody's game on the given day.

India and Pakistan may meet again in this world cup and that will be the icing on the cake.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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