Well, the Cricket World Cup has indeed started lethargically and there were still 24 days left to go until the knockout stages start. It is due to the bygone format used in the 1992 edition being revived – even though the top four teams have already broken ahead. Well, Indian and Pakistani cricket teams will play each other in the tournament. The match is all set to begin on June 16 in Manchester. The tournament was culled to 10 teams and the main reason for it to revert to an outdated format was to ensure more games for money-spinner India. It is also to make sure there should be at least one amazing India-Pakistan match for their fans.
Well, as per the records, remarkably, India has already won all six encounters against Pakistan at World Cups. Even though the Indian team has trailed overall in the ODI head-to-head with 73-54. Some of the most memorable and the best rivalries in sport are Sampras-Agassi, Federer-Nadal, Showtime Lakers-Bird’s Celtics. Well, Pakistan-India is the same. The Pakistani team is renowned for its ability to breed mesmerizing quicks, while India has long boasted masterful batsmen. The turning point now is India boasting arguably the best attack in the world.
It is led by star quick Jasprit Bumrah, and is the hot favorite to continue dominating over Pakistan at World Cups. Pakistan is no less as they utterly shocked India in one of the great upsets in the final of the Champions Trophy just two years ago. Their infamous erratic play has hit the headlines at the World Cup. After facing an opening defeat against the West Indies, Pakistan brilliantly got back on track against hosts and tournament favorites England. They further underline their credentials as the ultimate wildcard entry in cricket.
Pakistan had to face defeat against reigning champions Australia but will be buoyed due to the amazing skills of left-arm ace Mohammad Amir. Amir finally reached the starry heights once again. The reason behind his lacking was his career which had to face so many issues dragging him back from being successful. It is because of him getting caught in a match-fixing case. Fans were left shocked after he went to jail for match-fixing which became a black spot in cricket’s history.
India and Pakistan have only played each other four times in history since the 2015 World Cup and the fact is indeed shocking. The reason behind it was the hard-line Indian government stance. Well, it is a great shame for cricket. It is also the sport’s biggest travesty and fans anticipate that it appears to be unlikely to get solved any time soon. After February’s terrorist attack in Indian-administered Kashmir, the relationship between the governments and nosedived and it was notified by cricket fans from all around the globe too.
A dispute between two governments or two different countries will indeed be seen and different sectors of fields and sports will not be left behind too. In the attack, that happened months before, a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian paramilitary forces and the news instantly hit the headlines. The effects, of course, were seen in the cricket field and fans were shocked. Also to make a note of, at an International Cricket Council meeting which was conducted in February, a not so subtle attempt was noticed to try getting Pakistan barred from the World Cup.
Well, the Board of Control for Cricket in India appealed to the cricket’s governing body to sever ties with all the countries from which “terrorism emanates”. Also, many other Indian legends were seen further applying for the blowtorch. The legends were calling for India to withdraw from any match. This step made the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani issue a stern warning. Mani was seen saying “If attitudes don’t change, I don’t see how the 2021 (T20) World Cup and 2023 World Cup can go ahead in India.” It was said at the height of the tension in March last year. Indeed, the posturing from India did not eventuate ensuring the tournament would not descend into high farce.
Cricket may not be loved by many fans in many parts of the world, but it’s worth noting that India and Pakistan amount to around 20% of the world’s population. Surely, cricket has a huge fan following in these countries and many people are addicted to it. Interest in the match has been at fever pitch with World Cup tournament director Steve Elworth stating that it had attracted “over 400,000 applications for tickets”. He also added, “To put that (number) in perspective, England v Australia was around 230-240,000,” he said. “And the final was around 260-270,000 applications for tickets.”
Also, to make a note of the many matches which have been conducted between India and Pakistan have produced the three highest television ratings in the entire history of cricket. It is behind the 2011 World Cup final match which happened between India and Sri Lanka. Compared to Lakers-Celtics. Yankees-Red Sox or the Brazil-Argentina in soccer, nothing quite compares or can come up to the level to the hysteria and significance of India-Pakistan matches. India versus Pakistan at the iconic Old Trafford is something that has attracted so many cricket fans from all around the world and had even turned many people into cricket a fan.