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Shoaib Akhtar irked over Babar Azam’s absence from World Cup promo

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Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar expressed his disappointment over the absence of Babar Azam from the recently-unveiled promo for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday, released a promo video for the mega event featuring superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

The promo, released on all ICC social media platforms, became cricket fans’ attention within minutes but it did not go well with Pakistan fans.

The two-minute-long video promo was alleged to under-represent Pakistan and also did not feature the top ODI batter, Babar Azam.

Besides being the top-ranked batter in the 50-over format, Babar Azam is the current ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year and Sir Garfield Sobers ICC Player of the Year.

He is also currently the only batter to feature in top-three of all-format ICC rankings.

Consequently, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, known for his blunt opinions, did not mince his word while criticising the promo for under-representing Pakistan and the absence of Babar Azam.

“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,” wrote Shoaib Akhtar.

 

To hype the ICC Men’s World Cup, the cricketing governing body produced a promotional video for their forthcoming extravaganza and called one of India’s most famous stars Khan to be the face of their advertising.

The 2-minute long video, centred on the tournament’s ethos and tagline — ‘All it takes is one day’, is narrated by Shah Rukh Khan.

“The difference between making history and being history: one day. Jerseys will be worn, and chests will swell with pride, on that one day. Passion will triumph logic, and memories will be etched, on that one day. Fears will be conquered, and odds will be braved, on that one day. From the highs of joy, to the lows of anguish, it will all be embraced, on that one day,” narrates Khan.

“Rivalries will be redefined on the pitch, and respect reimagined in the stands. The power of belief will emerge from the hearts of a billion. Songs will be sung, dances will be danced, and eyes will widen in wonder, on that one day. And when that day comes, and when that day finally comes, glory will be immortalized,” continued Khan.

“This is the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, for everything ever dreamt for, pushed for, lived for, it takes one day,” concludes the movie star in the video.

The video features montages of iconic moments from the previous editions of the World Cup.

It also stars guest appearances from 2019 World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Jonty Rhodes, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shubman Gill and Jemimah Rodrigues dancing with cricket fans.

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