With Pakistan and India gearing up to clash in a historic ICC Cricket World Cup match, excitement and tension levels are at an all-time high on both sides of the border. Die-hard cricket fans have arrived in Manchester ahead of the match and the frenzy is unmissable. Pakistan is currently on the 9th spot with three points and one win, while India is on 4th spot with five points and two wins.
Here is some interesting news on the match.
Pakistani fan gets a match ticket from MS Dhoni
A Karachi-born, Chicago-based fan Mohammad Bashir, also known as ‘Chacha Chicago’ will be receiving a ticket from MS Dhoni to watch the Sunday’s high-octane Indo-Pak contest.
India Today reported that Bashir and Dhoni’s friendship blossomed during the 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan when Dhoni gave Bashir a ticket for the sold-out match in Mohali. Their friendship has grown stronger since then and eight years later, Bashir has landed in Manchester, without a match ticket, to watch the two teams play.
“I arrived here yesterday and saw that people are ready to pay as much as 800-900 pounds for a ticket. A return ticket from Chicago costs the same. Thanks to Dhoni, I don’t have to struggle for a match ticket,” the 63-year-old, who owns a restaurant in Chicago and is an American passport holder.
Chacha Chicago says that he will be supporting both the teams and his match-day uniform will have both the Indian and Pakistani colours. He also met with players of both the teams in Manchester.
Chris Gayle appears to be supporting India
ICC shared a picture of Chris Gayle sporting a white, green and orange tie and dye suit with the caption “The #UniverseBoss is ready for #INDvPAK.”
Wasim Akram and Virat Kohli ask fans to be calm
Wasim Akram said the match should be enjoyed rather than used to inflame the situation.
“This can’t be bigger,” Wasim said. “India and Pakistan playing at the World Cup with over a billion audience is the biggest thing in cricket, so my message to both sets of fans to enjoy it and stay calm.
“One team will win, one team will lose, so stay graceful and do not take this as a war. Those who project this match as war are not true cricket fans.”
Meanwhile, speaking to the press on the eve of the match, Kohli said, “Watch and enjoy… it’s just a cricket match.”
While everyone is trying to remain positive, the weather in Manchester is unpredictable and there are 60 percent chances of rain between 2 pm and 5 pm, with chances increasing to 80 percent at 6 pm UK time. The rains have already forced four wash-outs in the tournament and affected several training sessions as well.
Wasim Akram, Kapil Dev think India is the stronger team
Cricket veteran Wasim Akram believes the match is “70-30 in India’s favour because “India has depth in their batting and their bowling is also good.” Kapil Dev also shared the same thoughts.
Meanwhile Sachin Tendulkar warned the Indian Cricket Team to be wary of Muhammad Amir and give him a tough challenge.