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.
When the Pakistan cricket team’s World Cup 2019 slogan ‘We have, we will’ was launched, the idea was to say that Pakistan has won the World Cup in the past and will do it again.
It seems Pakistan are trying to do it in the same manner in 2019 as they did in 1992. So far, Pakistan’s track and situation in the tournament is not much different from what it was 27 years ago.
Pakistan achieved their third win of the World Cup in seven matches with 5 balls to spare as they ended New Zealand’s unbeaten run in the tournament.
At the 2019 ICC World Cup, Pakistan beat an undefeated New Zealand to claim their third victory of the World Cup in their seventh game with five balls to spare. Who writes the script for Pakistan?
And there’s more! This ESPNCricinfo story makes things spooky. In 1992, the two previous winners of the World Cup were India and Australia. In 2019, that is exactly the case.
In 1992, Asif Ali Zardari, a former president of Pakistan was in jail. In 2019, Asif Ali Zardari again is in jail.
In 1992, Aladdin was released as an animated musical film. In 2019, an Aladdin film, a live-action adaptation of the 1992 film was launched.
Even in cricketing context, two new white balls were used in the 1992 World Cup, one at each end. The same pattern is been followed in 2019.
“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.