ICC champions trophy final today Beginner’s guide to the most volatile game in world cricket Play What’s is it all about? Sectarian violence and murder during the Partition in 1947 on the foundation of India, West and East Pakistan, wars that year and then again in 1965 and 1971, continued conflict over Kashmir and the Mumbai terror attacks have made tempestuous, frequently toxic bilateral relations the backdrop to the all too rare meetings between the two on the cricket field that have been limited by political intransigence to ICC events, three matches four years ago aside, since 2008
On-field rivalry Pakistan have yet to beat India in a World Cup match but have defeated them twice in four Champions Trophy ODIs and still lead 72-52 overall, largely by virtue of their early dominance of the tie. India have won four of the last five but they have never faced each other in an ICC 50-over final, not even in the days of a four-team Asia Cup. Sunday’s match will be unique Flashpoint Off the field all too many and the most notorious incident during a match also took place away from the pitch in 1997 when Inzamam ul-Haq, tired of being barracked for two days in Toronto at the Sahara Cup by an India fan with a megaphone chanting “mota aaloo, sara alloo” (‘fat potato, rotten potato’) snapped. He ran into the crowd to confront him, traded blows, retreated to pick up a bat and was about to wrap it around his tormentor’s teeth when he was restrained by security and his team-mates’.
Cricket is a pressure game and when it comes to an India-Pakistan match the pressure is doubled Imran Khan.
It’s probably bigger than the Ashes. As far as Indians and Pakistanis go, I don’t think they watch this game as a game of cricket, it’s more of a border rivalry Ravichandran Ashwin.
Get ready for a Super Sunday matinee
London : Virat Kohli’s dazzling drives at the Oval will face some stiff competition from Rupinderpal Singh’s powerful dragflicks on a rarest of rare occasion when national teams are pitted against Pakistan in cricket and hockey on the same day in a third country.
Within 55 miles of each other, Indian cricket team will meet their arch rivals at the Oval in London while the hockey team will lock horns with Pakistan at the suburb Milton Keynes.
It’s a rarity when national passion and national sport will be jostling for attention from sporting aficionados within a gap of three-and-a-half hours. Whether it is seven hours of cricket with its ebbs and flows or the 60 minute of adrenaline-pumping stickwork, the contests will not be devoid of excitement.
The ‘desis’ as British Indians are referred to in this part of the world will be in attendance along with their Pakistani counterparts. While Bollywood brigade and the political class are expected to be in attendance at the more glamorous event, the Hockey World League encounter will also grab eyeballs.
For those, who won’t get tickets for the cricket match, they can travel an hour up north to Milton Keynes to see Manpreet Singh’s deft skills or S.V. Sunil’s searing runs down the right. It will also be an occasion where the love for hockey that many profess during coffee table conversations will be tested.
Call it Pakistan’s decapitated sporting structure and India’s rapid strides, the gulf between neighbouring nations have widened across sporting disciplines. Harsh, but the truth is that against Pakistan, the rivalry is an idea borne out of all the acrimony that has festered on for years now.