Global football icon David Beckham and Bollywood superstar Ranbir Kapoor are likely to attend the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2023 between India and New Zealand on Wednesday.
Former England football captain and Manchester United legend David Beckham came to India on Monday as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Notably, the International Cricket Council has entered into a partnership with UNICEF to empower women and girls and promote inclusion and gender equality through cricket.
Beckham, who owns MLS team Inter Miami, will be in India for three days and is set to mark his presence at the Wankhede Stadium on November 15 along with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is also the ambassador of this World Cup.
Several other former cricketers, sports stars and film actors are expected to attend the high-profile clash in Mumbai.
Bollywood superstar Ranbir Kapoor is also among the famous names who could be seen cheering for Team India from the stands at the iconic stadium where the Men in Blue lifted their second ODI World Cup trophy under MS Dhoni.
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A relentless India rocketed through their league engagements with nine wins on the bounce but the past record is just a shiny antique in a showcase and the hosts will have to be at their gun-slinging best when they face familiar foes New Zealand in the first semifinal.
The 2019 Manchester heartbreak might be lingering in a corner of the hosts' mind as an irritant. The Kiwis also had the measure of India in the ICC WTC Final in 2021, if one needs more attestation of the Kiwis' grip over the latter in global events.
However, this Indian side has shown a propensity to rise above an uncomfortable past, but they will be aware that any slip up at the Wankhede Stadium will be viewed as a national catastrophe, shattering a billion hearts.
So, India will also have to rise above the pressure emanating out of those enormous expectations placed on them, also heightened by their league phase bull run.