Those who have browsed YouTube for videos of Pakistani news channels and their cricket shows would know how bizarre they can get and the kind of downright weird comments that are made by many of the panellists.
Now, one analyst, Shoaib Alvi, has taken the conversation to a whole new low by saying, quite openly, that the reason India dropped Mohammad Shami from their team for the match against Sri Lanaka was the presence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India and it's 'anti-Muslim' policies.
Alvi was appearing on a show called 'Behind the Wicket' alongside former Pakistan wicketkeeper Moin Khan, on the television channel Aaj TV. While the discussion was mainly about the two matches being played on the day – India vs Sri Lanka and Australia vs South Africa – the analyst in question decided to bring up the exclusion of Shami from the Indian playing XI.
Alvi mentioned the fact that Shami had been very prolific in his wicket taking during the tournament and expressed surprise over him not playing in the match against Sri Lanka. He then put forward his strange theory that pressure was exerted on the team by the BJP government. This, according to him, is part of the agenda of the current Indian government to not let Muslims progress.
Interestingly, his comment about BJP was preceded by a light-hearted remark from Moin Khan that probably USA has told the Indian team to not play him. Both the anchor and Moin laughed at that but Alvi then proceeded to mention his unique theory.
Of course, what this analyst did not remember is the fact that despite taking wickets, Shami had proven to be very expensive in the death overs and had a difficult time in the last match. Compared to that, Bhuvi has shown greater control and accuracy in the last 10 overs. With the Indian spinners also proving hard to keep out of the playing XI, Shami was bound to be left out. However, in Pakistan, where conspiracy theories related to cricket have great currency, such views are probably quite acceptable.