In an unexpected turn of events, Pakistan lost to the USA in the Super Over of their 2024 T20 World Cup opener, shocking cricket fans around the globe. The upset, which took place in Grand Prairie, Texas, left many bewildered. However, renowned Pakistani poet and satirist Anwar Maqsood offered a tongue-in-cheek explanation, linking the loss to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.

When asked to comment on Thursday’s fixture, which saw Babar Azam and his team fall short by five runs, the 84-year-old humorously suggested that Pakistan had little choice but to lose. “They [Pakistan] were forced to lose. An IMF-sanctioned loan is due. We haven’t received the grant. It might as well have been a condition, ‘Lose to America, then we’ll give the money.’ I can’t think of any other reason,” Maqsood said in Urdu.

Maqsood’s satirical remarks likely reference the $8 billion IMF loan Pakistan is seeking under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. The country currently has an outstanding debt of $1.1 billion with the UN agency, having completed a loan program in April 2024, which concluded with the final installment as part of a nine-month Stand-By Arrangement.

Beyond the match’s surprising outcome, Maqsood also made a grim prediction for the highly-anticipated India vs. Pakistan match scheduled for Saturday, June 9. “The Pakistanis who have bought the tickets [for the game], they, I think, will resell them at half the price,” he remarked, reflecting a sense of pessimism about Pakistan’s chances.

Following their opening loss, Pakistan finds itself in third place in Group A of the ongoing World Cup. Meanwhile, the USA tops the table, having also secured a victory against Canada in an earlier game. Thursday’s win significantly boosts the USA’s chances of advancing to the Super 8s, marking a notable achievement for the team.

As the tournament progresses, fans will watch closely to see if Pakistan can recover from their initial setback and prove Maqsood’s satirical comments wrong. The cricketing world remains on edge, eagerly anticipating the unfolding drama and unexpected twists of the T20 World Cup.


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