ODI World Cup 2023: India and Pakistan, the biggest billing of any tournament, is set to unfold at the biggest cricket ground (in terms of seating capacity) in the world – the Narendra Modi Stadium. IND vs PAK, a rivalry like no other, has seen some great moments in its rich cricket history. The 2011 World Cup semifinal, the 2022 T20 World Cup masterclass or the 2007 T20 final, there have been some intensely pressure-filled matches played by these two that date back to as long as 1992.
A clash, which is bigger than lives for many fans, is expected to be watched by a full-capacity crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium. But not only for the fans, the stakes are skyrocketed for the players and cricket boards too when these two meet. There were times when the Pakistan team faced backlash from their fans after a loss in 1996 and it even went to match-fixing inquiry after the loss to India and Bangladesh in 1999. The 2019 loss cost the then-skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy. The times seem to have changed and as seen after the losses, the Pakistan fans back their team and the Indians try to hold themselves for anything in future.
For the Indians too, this clash is as big as it can get. Legendary batter Sachin Tendulkar claimed that the IND vs PAK clash in the 2003 World Cup was on his mind for more than a month until it was held in March at Centurion, where he scored 98 runs. MS Dhoni, whose hotel room was not closed otherwise, decided to shut it ahead of the 2011 World Cup semifinal.
There have been some controversies and heated moments between these two sides. The Aamer Sohail vs Venkatesh Prasad scene in the 1996 World Cup was both heated and humorous together. Gautam Gambhir’s on-field face-offs with Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal were also talked about a lot. A Javed Miandad jump-off in front of Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More broke the humour parameters and is still talked about a lot.
There seem to be friendly interactions between the players in recent times but when it comes to the cricket field, no one leaves a stone unturned. Haris Rauf’s aggression, Virat Kohli’s happy tears (after the 2022 T20 WC win) tell what the magnitude of the match means to the players too. India vs Pakistan is just a match on paper but we know it is more than that.
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