Sit back and enjoy the cricket match

India versus Pakistan in cricket evokes a kind of excitement and romance that few other sporting rivalries in the world can boast of.

Published: 20th October 2021 07:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2021 07:04 AM   |  A+A-

Indian skipper Virat Kohli

Indian skipper Virat Kohli (Photo | AP)

Just the other day, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli said that his team members would take their opening T20 World Cup game against Pakistan as just another match. “... There is hype around it but more so with respect to ticket sales and demand. Right now, the value for those tickets are ridiculously high ... the environment, you can say, is different from the outside,” he said. Yes, it’s just another game but can we escape the brouhaha associated with it? It will be difficult. But then these set of cricketers are professionals and they know how to play with the sporting spirit intact.

India versus Pakistan in cricket evokes a kind of excitement and romance that few other sporting rivalries in the world can boast of. No matter what the stage, the hype surrounding the match is surreal. On October 24, when India meets Pakistan in a T20 World Cup match, it will be no different. The unbridled euphoria from the Gulf will spill over to the subcontinent. The last bilateral series played between the two nations was in 2012-13.

The two now meet only during Asia Cups, 50-over World Cups, Champions Trophies and T20 World Cups. India last played against Pakistan in 2019 in the 50-over World Cup and won the match. With India winning more often than losing—and after conquering sides like Australia and South Africa—the intense rivalry between the two cricketing neighbours was expected to dwindle. On the contrary, going by the hype and hoopla surrounding the game, this seems to not be the case. A 10-second TV slot is reportedly going for a premium. Every business enterprise is trying to cash in on this game.

There have been calls for boycott amid killings in the Kashmir Valley, but it would be prudent to not mix sports with politics. First of all, it is an ICC tournament and India can only forfeit a match, which might affect its overall standing in the tally. Though technically the Indian cricket board is the host, the teams are anyway squaring off on a neutral venue. Yes, this match is something special but it ought to be treated as just a sporting encounter that transcends the vicissitudes of mundane existence.


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