NEW DELHI: In the sporting world, the India-Pakistan rivalry needs no explanation. And when the two arch-rivals clash on cricket field, it not only ignites emotions and feelings but also attracts eyeballs globally. However, it will be a rarest of the rare occasion when on Sunday Pakistani fans will cheer and pray for their neighbours -- India -- who will take on hosts England in a group affair at the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Might be only for a day, but yes, the Pakistani fans have kept the rivalry aside and want India to uproot England from the showpiece event as it would help the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side enter the semi-finals smoothly. After three consecutive wins, the Green Brigade has climbed to the fourth spot, pushing the hosts to fifth and another loss for England is what every Pakistani fan wants.
Ahead of India-England clash, the Pakistan fans have already started expressing their support for the Men in Blue. Before England's must-win clash against India, former skipper Nasser Hussain had asked Pakistani fans on Twitter as to which team they would be supporting. "Question to all Pakistan fans ...England vs India...Sunday... who are you supporting?" tweeted Hussain on Thursday.
Question to all Pakistan fans .. England vs INDIA .. Sunday .. who you supporting ?— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) June 26, 2019
In reply, a Pakistani fan Nasir Ali wrote the Indian national anthem on Twitter: "Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya he Bharata Bhagya Vidhata."
"Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha Dravida Utkala Banga," he added.
Meanwhile, another Pakistani fan wrote: "Hum tou Abhinandan ko bhi chai pilaatay hain, Kohli tou phir humaaray dilon mai rehta hai. Tum saala gora loag humaari jooti ke neechay. (We even offer tea to Indian Air Force's wing-commander Abhinandan and Kohli (Virat) rules our heart)
"Definitely backing India for two reasons: 1 - they're neighbours, 2- they're passionate about cricket," another fan wrote.
Another fan went back to the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the rule of the British East India Company saying: "1857 ki jang -- Azadi hum ne mil kar angrezoo kay khilaf lari thi. (We together fought the 1857 revolt against the Britishers)
"Definitely Neighbours i.e. India. We can choose our friends but not neighbours. India any day over colonial England," one more fan replied.
Earlier on Saturday, Pakistan had defeated Afghanistan to strengthen their position in the points table with nine points. The Green Brigade will face Bangladesh in their last group game on July 5 while England has two remaining games against India and New Zealand.