Birth Of A Meme: How Australia Vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup Gave Internet Its Favourite Angry Man

By dropping Australia's David Warner twice, the Pakistan cricket team have provided two moments in successive ODI World Cups that have led to hilarious internet memes of angry Pakistani men standing with hands on hips

A screengrab of Pakistani fan Muhammad Sarim Akhtar during the 2019 ODI World Cup.

It is a well-known saying that comedy equals tragedy plus time. Though not of truly tragic proportions, the Pakistan men's cricket team has now provided two such moments in successive ODI World Cups, that have led to hilarious internet memes. The benefactor both times was Australia opener David Warner, and though he didn't gain much the last time around, Warner ensured he made Pakistan pay big time in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Friday, October 20 in Bengaluru. (Innings Report | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

The story begins on June 12, 2019 in Taunton, where Australia were locking horns with Pakistan in the ODI World Cup. Warner and Australia captain Aaron Finch had got the Aussies off to a glorious start, and chances were few and far between. Therefore, when left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz created an opportunity, the whole of Pakistan waited with bated breath. Finch edged one to Asif Ali at first slip, who dropped it.

It was the 13th over of the innings and Finch was on 26 at the time. He went on to score 82 off 84 and put up a 146-run stand with Warner in just 22.1 overs. As if that was not enough, Asif grassed another catch off Riaz in the 37th over. This time the batter was Warner, who had already scored 104 by then. It looked a simple catch at third man, but Asif made a mess of it.

That lapse was enough to send Pakistan fans into despair and anger at the same time, and the moment was encapsulated in the expression of Muhammad Sarim Akhtar, who was present at the stadium then. Akhtar's look of dismay was caught on camera and it soon became a viral meme, symbolizing times when things don't go your way.      

Warner could only add three more runs to his total that day, as he was dismissed on 107. But on Friday, October 20, 2023, he was not in the mood to miss out. The diminutive southpaw offered an easy catch to Pak leggie Usama Mir when he was on 10, but Mir grassed it, and Warner did not need a second invitation as he raced away to his fourth consecutive century against the Men In Green. 

That moment of despair-cum-anger was conjured again, and cricket lovers were instantly reminded of the famous meme from 2019. Pakistanis at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for the 2023 ODI World Cup game recreated that moment, only half in jest. The International Cricket Council posted the video on social media, which you can watch below.

Warner combined with Mitchell Marsh for a 259-run partnership, which is the second-biggest opening stand in ODI World Cup history. It is the sixth highest partnership for any wicket in ODI World Cup history, with an epic 372-run partnership between Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels against Zimbabwe in 2015 occupying the top spot in the list.      

Marsh too notched up a memorable century on what happened to be his birthday, which made him only the second cricketer after New Zealand's Ross Taylor to score an ODI World Cup hundred on the day they were born. Taylor had scored 131 against Pakistan in Pallekele during 2011 World Cup.