Pakistan fans fume after ICC ignores Babar Azam from World Cup promo featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli

Former bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his disappointment and slammed the cricketing body for excluding the No. 1 ODI batter


Ajanta Paul

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Published: Mon 24 Jul 2023, 4:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 24 Jul 2023, 7:52 PM

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) unveiled a new campaign ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India later this year. The 'It Takes One Day' campaign aimed to connect cricket fans across the world. But it took one promo to alienate an entire fan base and left a former cricketer fuming.

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his disappointment after seeing the campaign and slammed the ICC for excluding Babar Azam from its official promo. Akhtar wrote on Twitter: "Whoever thought that World Cup promo will be complete without Pakistan & Babar Azam's significant presence, has actually presented himself as a joke."

He took a jibe at the world cricketing body and added: "Come on guys, time to grow up a bit." To many, excluding the World No. 1 ODI batter and captain of the Pakistan cricket team from the World Cup video was a shocking surprise.

Cricket fans were quick to notice and criticised the ICC and the makers of the promo, asserting that it lacked completeness without Pakistan cricket captain. The heavy representation of Indian players and the minimal presence of Pakistani stars sparked anger among the fan base.

Watch the video here:

Popular Pakistani actress, Mawra Hussain retweeted the ICC video and wrote, "No matter how many times we are treated like we don’t exist.. we always rise. (to the top). against all odds. #ICCCWC2023."

Journalist Faizan Lakhani also retweeted the video and wrote: "ICC ODI World Cup promo without Babar Azam - the number one ODI batter since almost two years and the ODI cricketer of the year 2021 and 2022."

However, fast bowler Shaheen Afridi did make an appearance. The video also includes visuals of past World Cup-winning teams, but unfortunately, Pakistan's triumphant moment in 1992 was not showcased in the ICC's promotional video. Instead the promo featured Inzamam ul Haq's run out in the world cup.

One commenter (Wiqas Ali) posted: "ICC released an official trailer of World Cup 2023 where Babar Azam, the world's No. 1 batter, denied and showed just the Inzimam run out of the 1992 world cup while that cup was won by Pakistan which is solely disrespectful and insensitive.

The campaign anchored by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, features 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.

World Cup matches

The high-voltage encounter between India and Pakistan is set to take place on 15 October 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The match will be part of the ODI World Cup which is scheduled to take place in India in October and November 2023. Cricket fans are excited to see the ultimate faceoff between the two teams.

After a logjam between the cricket boards of the two country, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently conveyed to the ICC and the BCCI that the national team’s participation in the World Cup in October-November this year is subject to government clearance due to the tense relations between the two countries.

The tournament will be played by 10 teams, out of which eight are already qualified- India, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The other two spots will be filled after the qualifying matches between several teams like West Indies, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Nepal, Oman, etc.


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