Pakistan at the 2024 T20 World Cup

Pakistan crashed out of the 2024 T20 World Cup after losing to USA and India in the group stage. While it's their worst finish ever in a T20 World Cup, there are several other of their previous campaigns which rival it for disaster. Here they are ranked in ascending order.

2014 T20 World Cup

Defeats to India and the West Indies put Pakistan out of the 2014 edition of the tournament. After a thumping loss to India in their opening game, they rallied with a win over Australia and another big triumph over Bangladesh. However, having restricted the West Indies to 166 in their first innings, Pakistan colapsed to 82 to crash out of the tournament. Although their shortest meltdown, it was no less spectacular, denying them a place in the semi-finals at the last minute.

2003 World Cup

Pakistan had an outside chance of knock-out qualification by their last match of the pool stage of the 2003 World Cup. They needed a net run rate boosting win over Zimbabwe, but were instead handed a washout. Having suffered a humiliating defeat to India the week before, the careers of Saeed Anwar, Wasim Akram, and captain Waqar Younis ended after the match.

2016 T20 World Cup

An opening victory against Bangladesh was the only win of Pakistan's 2016 T20 World Cup campaign. Reports of rifts in the team, rumours around the captaincy with Shahid Afridi on his way out, and sloppy fielding came to its head during the edition. With the PSL still in its infancy, it was obvious that Pakistan were playing an outdated version of T20 cricket. However, for balance, Pakistan performed about how they were expected to in that tournament, beating Bangladesh but losing to India, New Zealand and Australia. Their performance sparked an overhaul of their T20 setup.

2007 World Cup

Having already lost heavily to the West Indies, Pakistan's exit from the 2007 edition of the 50-over tournament was sealed in a defeat in a rain-affected game against Ireland on St Patrick's Day. Pakistan were knocked over for 132 in 45.4 overs before Niall O'Brien top-scored to take Ireland home after a rain delay which reduced their total. The result meant Ireland got through to the Super Eights, while Pakistan went home. A day after they were knocked out, Pakistan head coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room.

2024 T20 World Cup

The most recent disaster comes in at second on the list. It had all the trademarks of one of the best (worst) – chaos before the tournament, a defeat to an Associate Nation (USA) and a group-stage exit. What keeps it from the top spot is that the pain has been short: the entire fiasco was over in 10 days.

2023 World Cup

The T20 World Cup elimination was the second of two back-to-back horror shows in ICC tournaments for Pakistan. Only seven months ago, their performance in the 2023 World Cup sparked wholesale change in the side, and a meltdown of epic proportions. While they started out with a win against the Netherlands, moments in that game hinted at what was to come. The instability of their opening partnership became a theme throughout the World Cup, as did frequent batting collapses. But after the thrashing by India at a Narendra Modi Stadium filled in blue, the wheels truly came off. An eight-wicket defeat to Afghanistan was followed by a tighter one against South Africa, and they ended their campaign with a heavy defeat to England.

Unpicking where that campaign went wrong, Naseem Shah was injured before the tournament. That, combined with Haris Rauf's poor showing, left Pakistan without their relied upon formidable pace attack. The lack of a high-quality spinner and average performances from their senior batting group rounded it off. But what made it a cut above the rest was the context. With the geopolitical relationship between India and Pakistan tense, Pakistan traipsed around India as the PCB imploded back at home. The former stars voicing their opinions on TV shows seemed even louder than usual and it doesn't feel like the noise has stopped ever since.

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