It is rare when the most highly anticipated tournament match is not the final. However, the India vs Pakistan contests, in the Cricket World Cup (CWC), have almost reached a mythological status.
The only game that comes to mind that gets close to a billion eyeballs is the World Cup final of football. But on Saturday at the CWC 2023, Ahmedabad will be the center of the cricket universe.
You just need to look back as far as the most recent World Cup in Qatar to see examples of how sport takes on a political context. The sporting boycott of Apartheid South Africa is not a recent thing. Nor was it one during the Cold War. The Olympics served as a battlefield for supremacy between the US and the USSR.
In India and Pakistan, cricket is more than just a sport. It is a national event, at the very least. On days off, people play cricket on every patch of ground from sunrise till sunset. For those without bats, a piece of wood is used, and stumps can range from a sack to an empty bottle box.
There is even more expectation from the players of both sides. This is because the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry only happens at the Cricket World Cup and other ICC games. There haven’t been any bilateral tours since 2011–2012, and none are in process.
India outclass Pakistan in yet another CWC clash
The India vs Pakistan cricket rivalry has all three: a struggle of nerves, an emotional rollercoaster, and the weight of high expectations. The two sides met yet again in a highly awaited CWC 2023 league match that did not live up to the hype.
Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, two of India’s top bowlers, caused a unique collapse in Pakistan’s batting order. Both shared four wickets in India’s huge win over Pakistan at the CWC 2023 on Saturday.
India beat Pakistan in the World Cup for the eighth time straight, dating back to 1992, with a seven-wicket victory in front of more than 100,000 fans at Narendra Modi Stadium.
With Bumrah’s 2/19 in seven overs and Kuldeep’s 2/35 in ten overs, Pakistan fell from 155/2 (29.3 overs) to 191 all out in 42.5 overs. Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Siraj, and Ravindra Jadeja all took two wickets with Kuldeep and Bumrah.
As India sped towards victory, the captain of the team, Rohit Sharma, smashed a half-century in just 36 balls, while Shreyas Iyer added the final touches with a fifty not out of his own. India reached 192/3 (30.3 overs) after Rohit’s 86 runs off 63 balls, which included six fours and six sixes.
Shreyas reached his fifty-first run with a four, which was the winning run too. In 62 balls, he scored 53 unbeaten. India is currently in first place with six points, six points ahead of New Zealand in net run rate, after 3 straight wins. After their first defeat in the CWC 2023, Pakistan has four points from three games and is fourth in the CWC 2023 points table.
How do fans of both sides see the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry?
Every time the two teams play, hundreds of millions of fans tune in, outnumbering those who watch the Super Bowl. The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the sport’s fiercest rivalries. The chilly relations between the two neighbors, who have fought many wars against one another over the last 75 years, dominate the cricket match when India and Pakistan meet.
Sheharyar Jaffri, a 30-year-old reporter and cricket fan in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, says. “The game is the most hyped-up in cricket history.” “We live every ball, run, and moment.”
Despite the Narendra Modi Stadium being closer to Karachi than New Delhi, there weren’t many Pakistani fans there for the CWC 2023. Pakistanis have a difficult time obtaining visas to travel to India, and World Cup fans from Pakistan — even those who buy tickets — were denied entry. Only a few Pakistani journalists get travel visas, and they don’t get them until the day before the game, leaving them very little time.
“This India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is epic. You shouldn’t miss this game in your entire life, India supporter Harish Iyer told Al Jazeera.
“The game is great for viewers. But it’s a lot of stress on the players. When India wins, you remain on cloud nine for weeks. But it’s quite upsetting when they lose.
Aarush Tiwari, a 12-year-old cricketer, says he did not see any hostility between Indian and Pakistani players. “They behave sportsmanlike”, added Tiwari. I like Pakistani players for their skills.
Iyer, however, feels that Pakistan’s current team is missing several key players.
“There is an aura around elite players. He mentioned former captain Wasim Akram and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar when he said. “In the early 2000s, they had several stars who could turn a match around.