1992 all over again as Pakistan take identical World Cup path
Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP)
Twenty-seven years and a generation apart, Pakistan's World Cup bears striking similarities with their 1992 campaign -- when they started slowly but ended up lifting the trophy in Melbourne.
An identical sequence of wins and losses, and other eerie parallels, have struck a chord with millions of fans who believe that Pakistan could be set to come out on top once again.
In both World Cups, Pakistan started with a one-sided defeat to the West Indies, before recovering to win their second game -- against Zimbabwe in 1992, and England this time around.
At both tournaments, their third game was rained off and they then went on to lose their next two games and win the following two.
Not only that, but the final win in both sequences was against New Zealand, who were unbeaten in both 1992 and 2019 until they ran into Pakistan.
"It was same, the same sequence of results, points and then we wanted Australia to beat the West Indies for us to qualify," said legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram, who played for Pakistan in 1992.
"Then also we beat New Zealand -– who was unbeaten then too. A lot of similarities, I hope the end result is also similar now and we win the World Cup," said Wasim, now a TV commentator.
In another similarity, Wasim was the leading wicket-taker in 1992 with 18 and another Pakistan left-arm pacer, Mohammad Amir, is second on the bowler's chart with 16 so far.
"I am not sure if players are following all these (discussions) but this should motivate them," said Wasim.
But Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed played down any parallels with 1992.
"That's history but after we won against New Zealand someone told me that even in 1992 we chased down New Zealand's target with five balls to spare," said Sarfaraz, whose team reached their 238-run target in 49.1 overs on Wednesday.
Fans are now hoping that the similarities don't end there, and even that they continue beyond the World Cup.
"Imran Khan was Pakistan captain in 1992 World Cup and 26 years after that triumph he became country's prime minister, so Sarfaraz should also join politics and become premier in 2045," said one comment on social media.
© 2019 AFP