Twenty20 World Cup 2007 September 13, 2007

India v Pakistan: a maturing rivalry

Australia and England might now play the second most important match in international cricket but they do so with a friendly rivalry that the maturing rivalry of India and Pakistan must learn from and aspire to emulate
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The two biggest rivalries in international cricket dominate the ICC World Twenty20 on Friday. When the pressure of national expectations grips players in these encounters, cricket becomes a tortured mind game. No greater incentive is required than the historical landmark that a World Cup battle creates, captured perfectly in millions--perhaps billions--of memories despite the orgy of one-day cricket outside World Cups. An ICC World Twenty20 match should not be any different. Indeed, a further incentive exists as England and Pakistan can dismiss their rivals from the tournament.

The Ashes opponents might possess the longest cricketing rivalry but India versus Pakistan, particularly in a World Cup, must have become the premier contest. The argument is a simple one, it is one of demographics. Cricket's biggest populations will be on edge as their heroes do battle. Consider, too, some internet stats which show that while Cricinfo is in the top 200 sites in most cricketing nations, for all South Asian countries it is in the top 25--a remarkable achievement when you consider that this means company with Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ebay, MySpace, Facebook, and other internet giants.

The conclusion is that cricket matters. It stops work and interrupts conversations. It excites and demoralises . It demands attention and provokes fury. In India and Pakistan you can can be assured of this fervour. Perhaps too in Australia, but it is the English side of that equation that offers only sporadic passion, making India versus Pakistan an equal and unparalleled rivalry.

But it is also a maturing one. Where once these matches were fuelled by memories of war, death, and blood they are now sustained by globalisation, television, and the internet. The current generation of cricket fans has had greater interaction with the "enemy" and has no memory of partition other than through the proud but bitter tales of elders.

Cricketers may seem less mature but my judgment is that fans have matured. We still support our team--often at a distance-- with a passion, however, it is the success of our team that drives us rather than the destruction of our enemy. And that is an important distinction because it allows some levity to enter the millions of worldwide conversations between Indians and Pakistanis anticipating this important contest.

There are, and always will be, exceptions to this generalisation but the angry voices belong to Luddites, clinging on to an ancient and increasingly irrelevant hatred. With each major encounter the passion survives and the venom dies.

Cricket and cricketers have played a major role in opening hearts and minds but one step remains. Australia and England might now play the second most important match in international cricket but they do so with a friendly rivalry that the maturing rivalry of India and Pakistan must learn from and aspire to emulate. Let's hope Afridi and Dhoni, Asif and Pathan, thrills and spills, continue to nudge us ever closer.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wilma on January 27, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Shoot, who would have thughot that it was that easy?

  • A Mahmood on September 15, 2007, 9:30 GMT

    The bowl out was such a poor attempt to emulate the thrill of penalty shoot outs in football. At least the penalty shoot out is a reflection of the skill involved in football. This is a mockery, its so artificial, and requires a slightly different skill to actual high calibre bowling.

  • manish batsa on September 15, 2007, 6:26 GMT

    You are spot on. With the emergence of internet, fans from India and Pakistan interact a lot now. while there are bound to be instances of petty and hateful remarks from immature people, it has surely helped us know the people from the other side better and make friends. That's great for the subcontinent. And about the rivalry, its simply unmatched.

  • Prakash Kalanjeri on September 15, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    What a fine find Mohd. Asif and Robin Uthappa are turning out to be!

    I really would like to see Asif bowl in England.

    The tied result may seem to suggest that the match was fought intensely. An astute viewer however would find such an assertion superficial.

    Firstly, there was no excuse for India posting a paltry 141 under good playing conditions.

    What followed next was even horrendous. An equally inept batting display had Pakistan strangulated and a late burst by Misbah against a bird brained Agarkar almost got them home.

    India deserved to win when Pakistan needed 40 odd runs from 3 overs.

    Pakistan thoroughly deserved victory when they brought down the deficit to 12 to be scored off the last over.

    And after the tie, neither teams deserved to win.

    I dont gamble, but I place my money on Bangladesh.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 14, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    What a farcical ending to a nail biting thriller. Still a victory is a victory and Pakistan has proved once again that they cannot beat India in any major world cup tournament, otherwise they definitely have a better over all winning record against India.

    Asif bowled brilliantly and this is what we expect from him. Tanvir Sohail impressed me a lot with his wrong foot bowling action and his right arm almost touching his left shoulder before he bowls, he mesmerize the batsmen with that odd action. Reportedly, Mike Procter used to bowl like this! Anyways, with such a good start from Asif and after restricting India for a paltry 141 for 9 they should have easily won the match had they played sensibly.

    Imran Nazir's madness continues he probably thought that he can finish the game in 14 overs and send India home. I think he should be given a thinking cap and a thinking chair to sit out and contemplate along with Salman Butt's whose slow run rate and shaky batting needs to be reassessed through an internal self assessment audit.

    Misbah ul Haq initially played very slow and then his late assault almost won the match for Pakistan but he did not use his head. After hitting a four on the 4th ball and leveling the scores he should have run on the 5th ball when the Indian fielders were not ready and he could have steal a single, instead he stood there after missing it and hoping to finish off the match on the last ball. He did not realize that he is one of the slowest runners in the team, besides he was so tired that he was almost dragging himself on the pitch to complete that run on which was eventually run out. For the last ball, all the Indian fielders were within the circle and were ready not to give that single and they succeeded.

    About the bowl out. Two days ago they showed on TV, the Indian team was busy practicing bowl out sessions in the nets and one would have thought that they are either paranoid or over cautious and trying to be too bookish. But, in the end it proved that when you do something seriously it is never a waste and it always pays back. Malik & Co. had no clue about what they were going to do in the bowl-out. First, after winning the bowl out toss he asked the Indians to bowl first. Its a very common notion and we all see that in the soccer and hockey games that whoever scores first place themselves at an advantage. Malik gave away that advantage to India on a silver platter by asking them to bowl first and straight away got his bowlers under pressure.

    Secondly, you don't have to choose your regular or best bowlers especially not the fast bowlers. Because, when they don't run to the full distance, they have no rhythm and obviously no control. Whereas, slow bowlers or spinners can always do better with their short run up. A person like Robin Uthappa who never bowled was used and he straight away put the Pakistani's under pressure. In my opinion, Mailk himself should have bowled along with Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Afridi and Asif or may be Imran Nazir. All you need is a good aim at the wickets thats all, no speed, no spin, no turn nothing. There is no skill needed to break the wickets.

    That is why I said, what a farcical ending to a nail biting thriller. Earlier the rules were different and the number of wickets were also taken in to consideration in a tie. Like Pakistan lost only 7 wickets as opposed to India's 9 and based on that the team losing fewer wickets were declared winners. But, the new rules are new rules and they have to be respected. I wonder how much the Pakistani players were aware of that new rule?

    Now, with India going on top of the table they will play the number two team from the opposite group meaning, Pakistan has to play against Australia instead of England. And Australia after the shocking defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe are not going to remain complacent anymore and they proved it against England today. So, Pakistan are themselves to be blamed for this debacle and putting themselves in a difficult situation, they don't stand any good chances of proceeding further, unless miracles happen and in twenty20, they do happen.

  • Ibrar Malik on September 14, 2007, 22:00 GMT

    I would like to say something about Younis Khan... He shouldnt be in One day and T20 Squad. he has no talent and no skills to be in those two teams.. he is only Test player and he should be kept only test squad.. i strongly suggest that Younis Khan should be Out of T20 and one day squad.. we should bring under 19 players ...we have really good players there....with lotta potential to offer..

  • EAMIRAN on September 14, 2007, 21:12 GMT

    So much for sensibility. What the fans from both sides saw today was 2 teams competing for most inept batting display. The rivalry was intense but Pakistan won hands down! Not only was our batting inept for the most part, but also brainless.

    Butt typifies our ineptness against seaming deliveries, while Nazir and Afridi are peerless in the brainless department.

  • Muhammad Asif on September 14, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    Yaar please stop talking Merit System, its not something that one can implement, it comes thru your routine life means if the people are fair enough in their routine life then they are doing the things on merit unconsciously & if their routine life is otherwise how they can do the things on merit even consciously. Merit or Lack of Merit is a reflection of a society as a whole not as an idividual. Do highlight your fav but don't abuse someone elses fav.

  • Muhammad Asif on September 14, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    Thats the quality cricket not by big names but by the big game. Its Tie right now & there would be one winner at the of bowl-out. But cricket is the real winner today. Thats quality cricket my dear.........

  • Ali Tiger on September 14, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    By looking at Salman's Butt performance in the 2 games, his scoring is very low (looks like he is playing test rather than a 20/20 match) compared to the game format and is putting undue pressure on others. I think we need to rethink Salman butt as vice captain, and maybe opt for Shahid Afridi as VC.

  • Wilma on January 27, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Shoot, who would have thughot that it was that easy?

  • A Mahmood on September 15, 2007, 9:30 GMT

    The bowl out was such a poor attempt to emulate the thrill of penalty shoot outs in football. At least the penalty shoot out is a reflection of the skill involved in football. This is a mockery, its so artificial, and requires a slightly different skill to actual high calibre bowling.

  • manish batsa on September 15, 2007, 6:26 GMT

    You are spot on. With the emergence of internet, fans from India and Pakistan interact a lot now. while there are bound to be instances of petty and hateful remarks from immature people, it has surely helped us know the people from the other side better and make friends. That's great for the subcontinent. And about the rivalry, its simply unmatched.

  • Prakash Kalanjeri on September 15, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    What a fine find Mohd. Asif and Robin Uthappa are turning out to be!

    I really would like to see Asif bowl in England.

    The tied result may seem to suggest that the match was fought intensely. An astute viewer however would find such an assertion superficial.

    Firstly, there was no excuse for India posting a paltry 141 under good playing conditions.

    What followed next was even horrendous. An equally inept batting display had Pakistan strangulated and a late burst by Misbah against a bird brained Agarkar almost got them home.

    India deserved to win when Pakistan needed 40 odd runs from 3 overs.

    Pakistan thoroughly deserved victory when they brought down the deficit to 12 to be scored off the last over.

    And after the tie, neither teams deserved to win.

    I dont gamble, but I place my money on Bangladesh.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 14, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    What a farcical ending to a nail biting thriller. Still a victory is a victory and Pakistan has proved once again that they cannot beat India in any major world cup tournament, otherwise they definitely have a better over all winning record against India.

    Asif bowled brilliantly and this is what we expect from him. Tanvir Sohail impressed me a lot with his wrong foot bowling action and his right arm almost touching his left shoulder before he bowls, he mesmerize the batsmen with that odd action. Reportedly, Mike Procter used to bowl like this! Anyways, with such a good start from Asif and after restricting India for a paltry 141 for 9 they should have easily won the match had they played sensibly.

    Imran Nazir's madness continues he probably thought that he can finish the game in 14 overs and send India home. I think he should be given a thinking cap and a thinking chair to sit out and contemplate along with Salman Butt's whose slow run rate and shaky batting needs to be reassessed through an internal self assessment audit.

    Misbah ul Haq initially played very slow and then his late assault almost won the match for Pakistan but he did not use his head. After hitting a four on the 4th ball and leveling the scores he should have run on the 5th ball when the Indian fielders were not ready and he could have steal a single, instead he stood there after missing it and hoping to finish off the match on the last ball. He did not realize that he is one of the slowest runners in the team, besides he was so tired that he was almost dragging himself on the pitch to complete that run on which was eventually run out. For the last ball, all the Indian fielders were within the circle and were ready not to give that single and they succeeded.

    About the bowl out. Two days ago they showed on TV, the Indian team was busy practicing bowl out sessions in the nets and one would have thought that they are either paranoid or over cautious and trying to be too bookish. But, in the end it proved that when you do something seriously it is never a waste and it always pays back. Malik & Co. had no clue about what they were going to do in the bowl-out. First, after winning the bowl out toss he asked the Indians to bowl first. Its a very common notion and we all see that in the soccer and hockey games that whoever scores first place themselves at an advantage. Malik gave away that advantage to India on a silver platter by asking them to bowl first and straight away got his bowlers under pressure.

    Secondly, you don't have to choose your regular or best bowlers especially not the fast bowlers. Because, when they don't run to the full distance, they have no rhythm and obviously no control. Whereas, slow bowlers or spinners can always do better with their short run up. A person like Robin Uthappa who never bowled was used and he straight away put the Pakistani's under pressure. In my opinion, Mailk himself should have bowled along with Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Afridi and Asif or may be Imran Nazir. All you need is a good aim at the wickets thats all, no speed, no spin, no turn nothing. There is no skill needed to break the wickets.

    That is why I said, what a farcical ending to a nail biting thriller. Earlier the rules were different and the number of wickets were also taken in to consideration in a tie. Like Pakistan lost only 7 wickets as opposed to India's 9 and based on that the team losing fewer wickets were declared winners. But, the new rules are new rules and they have to be respected. I wonder how much the Pakistani players were aware of that new rule?

    Now, with India going on top of the table they will play the number two team from the opposite group meaning, Pakistan has to play against Australia instead of England. And Australia after the shocking defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe are not going to remain complacent anymore and they proved it against England today. So, Pakistan are themselves to be blamed for this debacle and putting themselves in a difficult situation, they don't stand any good chances of proceeding further, unless miracles happen and in twenty20, they do happen.

  • Ibrar Malik on September 14, 2007, 22:00 GMT

    I would like to say something about Younis Khan... He shouldnt be in One day and T20 Squad. he has no talent and no skills to be in those two teams.. he is only Test player and he should be kept only test squad.. i strongly suggest that Younis Khan should be Out of T20 and one day squad.. we should bring under 19 players ...we have really good players there....with lotta potential to offer..

  • EAMIRAN on September 14, 2007, 21:12 GMT

    So much for sensibility. What the fans from both sides saw today was 2 teams competing for most inept batting display. The rivalry was intense but Pakistan won hands down! Not only was our batting inept for the most part, but also brainless.

    Butt typifies our ineptness against seaming deliveries, while Nazir and Afridi are peerless in the brainless department.

  • Muhammad Asif on September 14, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    Yaar please stop talking Merit System, its not something that one can implement, it comes thru your routine life means if the people are fair enough in their routine life then they are doing the things on merit unconsciously & if their routine life is otherwise how they can do the things on merit even consciously. Merit or Lack of Merit is a reflection of a society as a whole not as an idividual. Do highlight your fav but don't abuse someone elses fav.

  • Muhammad Asif on September 14, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    Thats the quality cricket not by big names but by the big game. Its Tie right now & there would be one winner at the of bowl-out. But cricket is the real winner today. Thats quality cricket my dear.........

  • Ali Tiger on September 14, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    By looking at Salman's Butt performance in the 2 games, his scoring is very low (looks like he is playing test rather than a 20/20 match) compared to the game format and is putting undue pressure on others. I think we need to rethink Salman butt as vice captain, and maybe opt for Shahid Afridi as VC.

  • Mahdee Jameel on September 14, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    There is another aspect of the India Pakistan game that is vastly overlooked. An India Pakistan game divides my nation, Bangladesh into Two. You can hardly find a person whose second team of choice is neither India, nor Pakistan.

    This rivalry is unique in it, it sparks passion in another country unlike any other rivalries in this magnificent sport. Maybe a Brazil-Argentina football match would come close, but in cricket, there is nothing like this.

    I grew up supporting India, I support Pakistan now, but when those teams do not play each other or Bangladesh/SL, I sure do hope for their wins.

  • Dawar on September 14, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    Overall is good note. I would like to add some thing different.

    We should not only adopt rivalry views from the west.

    We should adopt merit and right system from the west. Especially we should learn attitude and team sprit from Australian cricket. Their players take retirement on right time. But our great player never take retirement by them self. Recent example of Inzi, he was not performing well from last two years. He is not physically fit for cricket. But he is still greedy to play test cricket for Pakistan, Why??? He wants to play only for his personal records. He said by himself.

    He should given chances to young players. Last decade many young players in Pakistan became senior with out proper chances.

    Please see Australians they do not care about personal records on front of their team future.

    Regardless how big players you are, if u do not perform well u will be out from Australian team.

    Another very important thing we need to look at it. How to stop corruption in the team selection? We do not have system to stop IQRIBA PARVERIR. We need to implement merit system. Board or selectors should be impeaching for their wrong doings. Misba-ul-Haq and Sohail Tanveer are the current example. Especially Misba does not deserve to be in the national team for any type of cricket. Many good players than him are out from the team. Like Yasir Hamid, Khalid Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Jamshaed, Asim Kamal, Anwar Ali, Khurrum Manzoor and Hasan Raza.

    About Asim Kamal exclusion board & Inzi should be impeached and questioned. They kept him out from four years.

    Why we are keeping WC Kamran Akmal with the team. He dropped record catches in SA series but never exclude from the team for a single match.

    Same to India, Mohammad Kaif deserve to be in the team. He is very good batsman plus one of the best Indian fielders. He is Ideal choice for 20/20. You can see how important is fielding in 20/20. Any body can score in 20/20 but not every one can field well.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • Hammad Siddiqi on September 14, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    Firts up, the kid Khansahab writes well. kudos my brother. As for Mr. Abbasi's article, again an example of excellent sports journalism. I might not go as far as 'buoyant grace' but exceptionally well written nevertheless!

    This is probably one of the greatest rivalries not just in cricket but in all sport. I don't make that statement lightly for even here in the U.S where cricket is by no means a mainstream sport, they recognize the special significance of Pakistan-India games. On ESPN recently they had a countdown of the top ten rivalries and Pakistan-India was number 6. This was in the same league as Lakers-Celtics (Basketball), Yankees-Red Sox (Baseball) and Ohio State-Michigan (College Football).

    The gentleman who thought that the Ashes compared in any way is obviously the one slanted. I believe many people have pointed out the one-sided nature of England-Australia contests. Calling it a contest would be inaccurate. The games are more like massacres!

    Though I agree with Mr. Abbasi that a semblance of maturity needs to be obtained, I feel that the greatest aspect of Pakistan-Indian games is the unbridled passion. I'd rather have that any day then "jolly good shot, old fellow" as I sip my cup of tea and eat my crumpet!

    Give me the drums, the war paint and the passion any day. Viva la Sport

  • Kamran Khan on September 14, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    Although Pakistan may be through I think its important Pakistan finally beat India in a world cup! Inshallah Afridi and Nazir do the damage with the bat and Asif and Gul with the ball.....COME ON PAKISTAN!!!

  • vineet on September 14, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    well particularly i didnt find india n pak matches that interesting becoz in the 90's pak mostly had the upper hand with india getting a few memorable wins like 96 wc quarters and the one in dhaka in 98 but now things have changed it a more even contest but the best quality cricket the 2 teams palyed was in the 99 test series paks first visit to india in 13 years that was one of the best series ever quality wise things have been on the decline evere since

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on September 14, 2007, 14:12 GMT

    It is an interesting debate where we can find more quality cricket, but first of all we need to define what is quality?

    If quality means two white team playing cricket in a white country where one white team continuously thrashing the other white team…. then unfortunately Ashes has far superior quality no matter they almost always give heavy drubbing to England

    But if quality means close encounter where over the period of five days you are never sure which team will win, then of course no other team is close to matches played between India and Pakistan. Who can forget the 1998-99 series played in India that produced highest ever quality cricket.

    In order to substantiate my above statements, lets have a look at matched played between India & Pakistan and between Australia & England since 01.01.2007 and you will see who has played one sided matched

    Australia vs England (since 01.01.1990)

    Test played 47 Won by Australia 30 Won by England 9 Drawn 8

    ODI played 46 Won by Australia 31 Won by England 13 No result 8

    Now look at the results of India Pakistan matches during the same time period

    India vs Pakistan (01.01.1990)

    Test played 12 Won by India 4 Won by Pakistan 5 Drawn 3

    ODI played 75 Won by India 30 Won by Pakistan 43 No result 2

    I invite everyone to make his or her own conclusions as who produce more quality cricket……….. Ashes or India Pakistan matches

    The problem is that some people only believe that only white man can produce quality. When Wasim & Waqar did reverse swing and tormented Englishmen in 1992 and in 1996 series, it was cheating. When English bowler also learnt the secret, all of a sudden it became an art !!

    Wake up Alex, accept he reality. English don’t rule subcontinent any longer !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dan on September 14, 2007, 13:38 GMT

    @ Mr. Alex Philbin..

    Have you lost it man? The only ahses series since 1986 that offered up the quality you mention was the 2005 ashes...for the best part of 20 years now the ashes has offered up insipid fare and poor quality cricket that follows the same script..Oz bashing england and England trying their best to either avoid defeat or draw a game...and winning maybe the 'dead rubber' match..

    case in point being the last ashes series down under...pure unadulterated boredom..and insipid play by england...

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 14, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    Rivalry in the political arena has distracted the masses. Rivalry in the religious and cultural affairs has divided the masses. Rivalry in the sports arena has brought the masses together?

    Yes, it did bring them together but, with a different ideology and support. If there is no rivalry in sports there is no competition and no fun. I would be very honest in admitting that when it comes to India vs Pakistan matches, I am all there for Pakistan. But, when India plays against other countries I support them. So, there is a "second choice support" from me for India. And I am sure there are millions of people on both sides who have similar feelings as I have.

    One might say that this rivalry has mellowed or matured over the years is only a way of consoling and comforting your own feelings. Its like an ostrich burying its head in the computer screen. I don't think this rivalry will ever diminish, be it cricket or hockey or any other sport or political arena, there will be very stiff competition between these two countries and it will remain like this and this is a harsh reality which most people fail to admit or sugar coat their words when expressing their true feelings.

    I still find it very hard to believe when some old people say that the people in India used to live in complete harmony and balance before the arrival of the East India Company. They co-existed like brothers and sisters practicing different religions, ideology and sharing different food and cultural values, etc. Sounds too good to be true and appears like a dreamland, but again there must be some truth in it.

    In other words when the East India Company arrived, they brought with them the seeds of hatred into the sub-continent which divided the people much before the British started ruling the country. Then they introduced cricket! This may be a lighter part of my dark sense of humour. But, history confirms they induced uprising, revolt and mutiny at various levels among the people, against their own people and this happened much before the 1947 division and separation, which of course created further malice, hate, hypocrisy and enmity in the hearts of the millions on both sides.

    Over the decades three wars have been fought and hundreds and thousands of people on both sides have lost their lives. I believe it is better to vent out our feelings in the sports arena or in a virtual world rather than a real battlefield. In a way the gearing of both countries with nuclear arms and armory is a blessing in disguise, it acts like a deterrent or in preventing wars. I am not in favour of an arms race, but its a fact that in the first 24 years of independence three wars were fought but, in the next 36 years not a single war took place. If the US and former USSR were not equipped with nuclear weapons, there would have been another world war. So, its a fact that the balance of power brings peace and harmony! I sincerely hope that real peace may prevail not only in the India Pakistan sub-continent, but in the whole world. But, may the rivalry in sports continue for the sake of a healthy competition i.e., be it in the name of Ashes, Windies vs. the Springboks or India vs. Pakistan.

    Despite the fact that three wars have been fought, there have been many attempts at various levels from both sides to bring these two nations on a common platform through culture, arts, sports, trade and commerce, but then there are certain elements on both sides who disrupt it because they view it from a different angle. There is some sort of insecurity in the minds of these people and that needs to be eliminated and mind you they are not the majority but just a few. A majority of the people are peace lovers, sports lover and fun lovers.

    When Indian cricket team visited Pakistan in 2003 after a big gap, the general public in Karachi and Lahore greeted them, not just in the cricket stadiums but, at the airports, on the streets and in the restaurants and were given a very warm welcome. And it wasn't just for the players only, but the cricket fans from India were treated like VIP's and guests and restaurant owners were not charging them for the food they ate or souvenirs they bought. It was an amazing display of hospitality.

    My view is people in Pakistan are very hospitable and very generous towards their guests, be it Indians or any foreigner for that matter when they visit Pakistan the people in Pakistan literally speaking, 'carry them on their shoulders.' The media always portrays a different picture and highlight isolated negative cases and blow them out of proportion, but the reality is different. The proof of the pudding is in eating, those Indians or others who have gone to Pakistan for the first time, they come back with a totally different perspective by praising the people and talking very high about their amazing hospitality. Having said all that I would like to see Pakistan winning this game today! Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia. thanks for quoting the stats, along with words we need the numbers too i.e., to support and substantiate our claims that Pakistan is a better team.

    I wonder why Kenya is always grouped with Sri Lanka? Only to create new records by the Lankans? Since Dravid has resigned should India look at the old horses to lead the team or go for a young one? I think Yuvraj should be given that opportunity.

    Finally, thank you Mr. Abbassi for creating this thread and allowing most of us to vent out our true feelings.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 14, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    Srivathsan and Rick Gore,

    I feel honoured at your comments. Thank you. Mr Srivathsan, I turned 21 in July so I am of course a teenager no more! But you were close :)

  • Captain Swing on September 14, 2007, 10:54 GMT

    India v Pakistan or an Ashes encounter is all good stuff, and the rivalry is intense. However, England always fight with one hand tied behind their backs because of football (soccer).

    Football is a fantastically greedy game that draws the adoration of its fans with skillful marketing. It relies on a sort of moron peer pressure - 'What team do you support?' is a question I'm often asked. When I reply 'none', I'm treated like a leper, and I promise you that no Briton would be elected Prime Minister if he said he had no time for football.

    I think you can take the point if you look at the decline of the once mighty West Indies. Football is the game young West Indians play and it's sucking the life out of their cricket.

    If you look at the top cricketing nations, only England and West Indies have the football bug. It's because football is so uncomplicated, while cricket is so technical that football becomes the sport of passion.

    My advice to Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans and Australians is to keep your love of cricket and all its subtleties. It might be a good idea to change the law and bring in death penalties for footballers too - a King of England tried that in the 16th century, and he was wiser and more far sighted than he is given credit for.

    My point is that the Ashes has become one-sided because cricket is not England's national game.

  • Salman saifi on September 14, 2007, 10:52 GMT

    Only an insane can say that Ashes is better than Indo pak matches. Barring the 2005 ashes I do not remember when was the last time England put up a decent fight against australia...England always remind themselves to prepare for ashes & when they actualy play it they forget to play cricket..many a times I have heard english commentator saying England is looking good for ashes even if ashes is 18 months away & while they do so they lose matches against all other oppositions weaker than australia. Atleast Ind & Pak teams have better balance than Eng-Aus enccounters most of them are one sided.

  • police inspector on September 14, 2007, 10:52 GMT

    Talking about maturity, feel that the comments section has shown signs of maturity as well! Waiting in anticipation for a great cricket match!!

  • S A Raja on September 14, 2007, 10:42 GMT

    Hello Kamran Saab,

    This is Raja writing from Bangalore- India. Your forthright views are absolutely correct. As Srivathsan has pointed out i sincerely hope that our politicians (both nations) read your blog and the comments so that these idiots (politicians) understand the views of the common people.

    Hope today's match is a cracker of a contest.

    Cheers!!!!

  • wanz89 (pakistan fan) on September 14, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    great article, i just hope the weather doesn't ruin what should be a great contest.with the likes of dravid, tendulker, muhammed yousuf and inzi missing this should be a very even contest.looking forward to a great game hope the best team wins.

  • Harry on September 14, 2007, 10:37 GMT

    India pak rivalry is forver.I hope it gets better with passage of time (like wine). As regards today's match, Pak is sure to win. reasons 1.There is no pressure on pak to win. 2. Pak can play natural aggressive game. 3. Afridi shall explode today(watchout Harbhajan. remember Lahore test assault 5 sixes in an over). 4. India in do or siutation. 5. India always failed under pressure. Lets hope margin shall not be too big otherwise India shall be out in first round as in WC'07.

  • JUN8 on September 14, 2007, 10:31 GMT

    In response to Alex Philbin. since when has the Ashes Ever been quality? With the exception of possibly one series, it has been nothing mnore than a demolishing for England and an extremely one sided affair.

    Atleast the Pak-Ind series has been evenly balanced in both forms of the game

  • Lasse Manson on September 14, 2007, 10:19 GMT

    To Imran Qaiser: Maybe if the indians weren't worshipped like gods they'd think they were more human and play a little more like gods.

  • srivathsan on September 14, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    KAMRAN,I share the concern & passion with which you have written this blog.I see many agreeing with you & KHANSAHAB(A.A.KHAN) in particular has appealed to me with his matured views.Iam really astonished to note that he is a teenager ,younger than my son,& still posses high degree of maturity.If only the so called elders ,on both sides, had atleast exhibited even 50% of this level of maturity, the history would have been different.I fully endorse your view that the present cricket fans can develop that kind of maturity & appreciate the game as it should be. As an indian , my heart says that india should win but my intelectual says let the better team win.Afterall we are playing a game & not waging a war.I slightly differ with you as regards your views on ENG & AUSTRALIA.Though their passion runs high in ASHES,it is not so in one dayers.That is the reason their match appears more matured & balanced.Where as INDIA & PAKISTAN stand on a different footing.Here we are one family but living apart.Every thing is common here be it winning,losing,inconsistancy & attitude ,i mean crumbling under pressure etc.People here are more attached than any where in the world as we share same culture ,customs & way of living.All these put together generate more passion & every time each side wants to win ,come what may,to prove a point to the other.As you have rightly pointed out, this rivalry SHOULD REMAIN HEALTHY FOR EVER.Many in india, including me , always support pakistan when they are playing other teams .I want khansahab to develop this mentality & for a person with such a high level of maturity ,this should not be a problem.I wish our politicians (both the nations) read your blog so that they can understand the views & feelings of common people & eliminate their hatred campaign.Now for to days game LET THE BETTER SIDE TODAY WIN THE GAME & LET US ACCEPT IT WITH HUMILITY.

  • George on September 14, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    I always read Khamran Abbassi's posts. Though I dont always agree with him, he is intersting. While his take on cricket promoting Indo-Pak bhai-bhaism, what he says is important. Living in Bangalore, I have a number of muslim friends. But they are Indians and always support India in an India- Pakistan match. We talk freely about how unfair that Islam is projected as the religion of terrorists. Cricket overcomes all this, and we watch Dhoni's pyrotechnics and Afidi's amazing batting with equal glee. Breaking news of Dravid resigning from captaincy is causing heatache in us Bangalore cricketing fans. Hope its not politics in our board, and he took this decision on his own. As Rahul is one who gave 100% to cricket in India.

  • imran qaiser on September 14, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    Australia & England rivalry is nothing as compared to India & Pakistan.When i came to Australia 7 years ago , i was surprised to see that cricket is not as big as i thought it would be in Australia, you hardly notice cricket season start & finish here but aussie rule footy is force fed into everyone & i am sick of it. The passion indians & pakis have for cricket & cricketers bears no comparision to aussies , infact i think in england , the cricketers are given more importance than in australia. I have seen gilchrist , damien & langer many times in city or other places & i never saw people taking their autographs or anything. In comparision, paki & indian players are adored like GODS. Indian & pakis are tow very talented cricket ing nations & if they just become hardworking professionals like aussies, no one can come near them. Even though i love to see pakistan win but i still have a lot of respect for players like tendulkar , dravid because i am a cricketer myself & i know how good they are. I just think on the basis of population , pakistan have always produced more talented players especially bowlers as compared to India & when pakistan & india are playing, its always a contest between paki bowlers & indian bastmen. You can't compare indian & paki battle with ashes as england can never play with the passion that we play. England has no ego when it comes to loosing , they lick their wounds quitely & move on like nothing happened, they never show much emotions while aussies are worst loosers as they always show their real self when they are loosing. They play hard but never give any praise to the other team when they loose . Always blame themselves rather than appreciating the other team for playing well from the bottom of their hearts. Sore loosers!!!!

  • Osama on September 14, 2007, 8:57 GMT

    Yes i agree with you

  • hamad zahid on September 14, 2007, 8:55 GMT

    pakistan is the champ and will win the match

  • Mohammed on September 14, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    For a long time, in fact for thebest part of 2 decades, the Ashes was as one sided of a contest there has been. One good contest in the 2005 season was followed by a utter demolition job last winter. I'm afraid Pakistan and India matches ae far more balanced and do produce a more even contest.

  • p.vikram on September 14, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    india will defenetly win today.

  • Gaurav Lakhanpal on September 14, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    I could'nt agree more to your comments Kamran, and its great to see that others do see that as well. Everyone is allowed to have their opinion and judgements, to what happened in the past. While we move forward with friendship, we should remember what happened earlier and try not to make the same mistakes.

    Mr. Hassan Hussain Qureshi, I liked your ending line spoken like a true lover (both country and cricket), I would say the same things albeit the last line :)

    Having said that, I agree with Anthony Stephens and not burden Cricket with Politics, lets enjoy cricket and may the best team win, and we all know we are talking about India here :)

    cheers,

  • Waleed Ahmed on September 14, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    intresting article by Mr.Abbasi ....well ill say that pak has already qualified for the super 8s so why not give a chance to fawad alam in case of yasir arafat or misbah .....afridi would be an exciting player to watch n dhoni as well .....lets hope 4 the best!

  • babu on September 14, 2007, 8:15 GMT

    Hmmm. Its a good article Mr Abbasi. I share the same sentiments as you and certainly think that the rivalry is indeed maturing. Let cricket be a balm over the wounds(Although I doubt it). I will be happy as long as we have a good cricket match always these two teams play.

  • Abhay on September 14, 2007, 8:08 GMT

    India Vs Pakistan.. Still a Great rivalry....first time both playin against each other in Twenty-20....just lets watch n have fun...and may the best team win!!

  • Alex on September 14, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    I don't think you can judge a contest simply on how many people take interest. I couldn't separate the two myself - the Ashes has a long history of sporting contest, with a little historical and cultural friction thrown in, but India vs Pakistan has a huge amount of political immediacy and passion. Both offer great cricket... hopefully the same will be true today.

    Personally, I'm English but I'm still in two minds about whether I want to see Australia go out today. The business end of the tournament just wouldn't be the same without them. Having said that, if Zimbabwe gets through they'll have earnt it (moreso than Scotland, certainly).

  • abdurrazaaq on September 14, 2007, 7:49 GMT

    HI hey cant wait to get home from work today to watch the greatest rivalry in modern sport! India vs Pak. Nothing better than watching two highly talented nations go to war! However i feel Pak got the edge of india will still be a fascinating game no doubt. Ramadan mubarak!

    Pakistan will win the T20 WC and give the muslim world a great ramadan and Eid gift.

  • aamir khan on September 14, 2007, 7:45 GMT

    hey hw come u come up with these ideas time and again , but to me the most important thing lacking eithpak team is their trademark passion, which unfortunately they have lost completely, they also lack selfbelief which they had so much of, they should be shoen videos of their seniors playing , instead of hi-tech, let them learn from those videos and get some passion instilled

  • omar on September 14, 2007, 7:44 GMT

    was just wondering..if england manage to eliminate the aussies, pakistan could end up facing both bangladesh and zimbabwe in the super 8..along with New zealand I guess...hmmm..semi finals beckoning? :) correct me if im wrong..

    omar (from the Netherlands)

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on September 14, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    On Paper India always appears to be a better side with the likes of Tendulkar and Dravid and all the media hype. They also won against Pakistan whenever played in a WC, yet this does not make India a better team.

    History and all previous results show that Pakistan has ALWAYS been a better side as compared to India. Look at the results of any form of cricket and one does not need to be a genius like Einstein to understand who is traditionally a better side.

    Whether it is head to head result or overall record, you take ODI or Test, no matter matches are played in Pakistan, India, Sharjah or any other neutral venue……. statistics always reveal Pakistan has put up better performance.

    In 56 Test between the two countries, Pakistan has won 12, India won 8 while 36 were drawn

    In 108 ODI played in between, Pakistan has won 64, India won 40 while 4 matches did not produce any result.

    If you look at ODI played by Pakistan against India in India, again it shows even greater tilt towards Pakistan. Out of 21 ODI played against India in India, Pakistan won 15. This is really incredible!!

    Even an overall performance of India and Pakistan clearly differentiates the class of two teams

    Pakistan in Test: played 330, won 108, lost 87 with an overall success of 53.2% Pakistan in ODI: played 659, won 352, lost 286 with an overall success of 55.0%.

    India in Test: played 408, won 91, lost 131 with an overall success of 45.1% India in ODI: played 660, won 313, lost 317 with an overall success of 49.7%

    I do not want to jump to a conclusion with respect to today’s match but what I want to highlight we must not get into a discussion which side is a better side. It is of course Pakistan in any form of Cricket but too enjoy success… though not as frequently as Pakistan.

  • Harish on September 14, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    India vs Pak is no longer war minus shooting. Players have matured and so the fans. Earlier Ind and Pak used to meet sparsely, but now they meet almost 2-3 times a years. This has let to dilution of extreme passions . However the competitive spirit and rivalary still remains. Only thing is baying for blood of opposition is thing of past.At end of play it is all warm handshakes.

  • Naila Khattak on September 14, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    I love the way cricket is played between Pakistan and India. If the rivalry is diluted in anyway, i am sure, the clash will lose its charm.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on September 14, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Please allow me, Mr Abbasi, to appreciate the many impassioned columns you have written for Cricinfo, online, and off. I particularly remember the piece on Danish Kaneria, in cricinfo magazine, during the last India Pakistan Series, in India(if I am correct). I believe that Pakistan Cricket,(including Shoaib Akhtar), interests me like no other nations affairs on cricket, excluding India. May cricket in all nations prosper, and may the Asian Nations, act like a beacon,which guides World Cricket.

  • jJatin on September 14, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    Sir, well written and perfectly right. We must never forgetthat it is only a game. As a cricket fan i have exactly the same feelings.And i think majority in india and pakistan feel likewise, there are just a few who think otherwise but they dont matter.

  • Rick Gore on September 14, 2007, 6:55 GMT

    To Khansahab: I appreciate the candor you have shown here in admitting that as a Pakistani, it is difficult for you to wish a 'victory', even if it is sport, for a nation that has been an enemy in its truest meaning for so long. I am sure there are a lot of Indians who have the same feelings. I think it is just sad. Sad that someone like Khansahab, who comes across as a level headed and mature person once hated Tendulkar. It is sad that so many people across the borders have hated Imran and Kapil. Have wished failure on Gavaskar and Zaheer Abbas. Have loathed Dravid and Miandad. Nevertheless, Ashes in my opinion will always be the greatest rivalry in the history of cricket. Not because it produces some great cricket. Off late, far from it. But because the spectators on both sides do not wish terrible things for opposition players. ALthough it is a tavestry to say that sports rivalry should exist purely for sporting reasons, Ashes come closest to it.

  • Farhan on September 14, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    It is still a game of CRICKET. Politics should not influence it.

  • Vinod - India on September 14, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    Mr. Alex Philbin...i think u have lost ur head. What makes u come to the conclusion that Ashes provide more quality cricket than an India-Pakistan one...? I and many others like me are hooked to Ashes just to see how England will avoid defeat from the hands of Aus...An England bowler bowling a big wide towards the third slip and a team being drubed to 5-0, and u say that its quality cricket...? Go and smell some coffe buddy.....

  • Naveen Aysola on September 14, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    As always an India Pakistan match gets political overtones. As for Kamran Abbasi, I do not agree with him. India Pakistan rivalry is raw energy which is unlike England Australia where one team gives you a very polished attitude and the other showing their brashness.

    One thing for sure, I would never want India Pakistan rivalry to be compared with the Ashes. It doesn't need to. It's got its own charm, own personality and above all the rivalry. Different regions in India take this rivalry in different ways. The north would be more aggressive and the south a little subdued, for obvious reasons.

    I'm not sure how many would understand this example here, but I would call the Ashes rivalry as classic rock and India Pakistan rivalry as Heavy Metal. Each has its own character. Ashes ofcourse has its edge because of its history and the India Pakistan due to its sheer numbers.

    I appreciate some Pakistani posts where they are honest about India losing all the time or not liking Sachin Tendulkar. I always admired Inzimam and Afridi though if they played well, Pakistan would win most of the times. But if I talk about Akram or Imran, I would appreciate them even if they perform against India. Will we see an Akram Tendulkar rivalry again. Never. We saw that and we were lucky.

    Mr. Abbassi should refrain from comparing two different great rivalry and get over the bug of "borrowing" from the white skins. I'm not being rasicst here (that would be first impression - its just that my langauge is not good enough to put it in the right words) but we should stop borrowing and coin our own words.

  • Zafar on September 14, 2007, 5:39 GMT

    I remember reading once an ESPN article where they were discussing the top 10 rivalries of all time, in all sports and they had Pak v Ind as No.1.

    Yes they beat out every other rivalries in any other sports such as Boxing, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Hockey etc...

    I dont' consider Aus vs Eng as one of the biggest rivalry just because we can tell who is going to win before the match is on and you will be right 90% of the time.

  • Mubashar Sapru on September 14, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    A very good article by Mr.Abbasi and everyone has raised some good points. I would agree with Anthony Steven's in that between England and Australia there is definately the whole "how will England avoid defeat" sentiment. Having lived in England nearly all my life its amazing the amount of negativity that comes from English cricket and this stems from within the smaller clubs. Fair enough Mr.Abassi says Pak vs. Ind should aspire to be like the Ashes but lets not forget that with the rivalry of the Ashes comes the negative and downright abysmal mentality of "oh lets play for a draw" which sounds all to familiar in the media over here. I think due to possibly well-deserved arrogance, Australia have started to take on this approach aswell and both Australia and England are lacking in fighting spirit. There doesn't appear to be a single player in the squad that will go out there and put their skills to the maxiumum test when the going gets tough, instead they reserve themselves to the "oh well, lets play out for the draw and maybe we will win the next match". (Needless to say some of you will question "what about Flintoff & Pietersen? Have you no idea who they are?!" yes and Ive seen them play, but the question is when neither of them are around, how entertaining is the English squad then?) Hopefully this mentality is something that will never become predominant in the Pakistani or Indian teams because that is when rivalry becomes mediocracy and another change in the format of the game has to be created. Doubtless that many of you will disagree with me but if you go around the vast majority of English schools today and ask the kids why they dont give cricket any importance they have a simple answer "why bother? why should we watch two teams chuck a ball around all day and then neither of them wins, whats the point in that?" I digress, all in all I think we should not aspire to be anything else other than the two most passionate cricket nation's there are and let's hope we get a spectacular performance from both teams when the time comes. And lets hope Pakistan win! If you have any comments/grievances about what I have written e-mail me: mub_sap@hotmail.com

  • Milind Rajput on September 14, 2007, 5:32 GMT

    To Mr Alex Philbin who says India-Pak match dont have class of ashes. Is your version of class matches a 5-0 thrashing in tests and a continous thrashing in Ashes series for last 14 odd years and the less said about ODI the better.. Whenever India-Pak clash atleast there is a close encounter most of the times. If either India or Pak played with England ,with same motivation and passion they play each other,England would look like a third grade team.

  • Pranam on September 14, 2007, 4:59 GMT

    I feel the fizz in Indo-Pak matches has reduced. It is because 1) There is an over dosage of cricket 2) India and Pak have been playing a lot in the recent past 3) Indo-Pak matches sometimes lack quality cricket 4) Legends of the game like Wasim, Waqar, Kapil Dev etc are missing. There are too many new faces

    But this is a big match. A world cup match. I hope the cricket is good.

  • Hassan Hussein Qureshi on September 14, 2007, 4:29 GMT

    I do agree with you Mr.Abbasi,the Pakistan-India rivalry has benefited from a greater exposure of the fans to one another. Whilst the 80's and even the 90's saw us hardly play one another or tour with an army of fans the last 7 years or so have seen both sides and their supporters become regular fixtures at one another's backyards. Pakistan-India invokes a passion like no other game... As a Pakistani i want to win more then anything but it is also great to be able to interact with a people whose culture and history is so close to ours.

    Long may Pakistan and India live in peace and prosperity, Inshallah, as neighbours and brothers. And long may we beat them everytime :)

  • Faisal Munawar on September 14, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    Well the hype of Ind vs Pak is still there and always will be there. We sometimes do think differently though saying that ..oh no its old whatever we are better then them and this and that but the truth is that even we say that when there is a game all of us are stuck to the TV and don't want to miss the action. The hype and excitement of this rivalry is always there and will remain. Players have changed but the rivalry will never....its just too good of a contest.

  • Anthony Stephens on September 14, 2007, 3:57 GMT

    Careful there Kamran. Do not put the burden of politics on sport. The wounds between India and Pakistan will never heal because of Cricket alone.

    Further, the situation between England and Australia is completely different. England helped Australia build a nation.

    I personally enjoy the bite of an India v. Pakistan game. It suddenly gives watching a game that takes 5 days, one day or 3 hours some meaning. All the players are motivated, the atmosphere is electric and we've seen spectacular performances from Saeed, Sachin etc. In contrast, in recent times, the Ashes have been more like "how will England avoid defeat".

  • RM on September 14, 2007, 2:29 GMT

    It's still war!

    Albeit, of a more benign nature, but all the more interesting and fun!!

  • Anam Ahmed on September 14, 2007, 1:43 GMT

    This is one of the most awaited matches of the T20 WC...Atleast am eager to watch it...According to my opinion India's batting line-up is solid despite the fact that they lack Ganguly, Sachin and Dravid...they have good options...on the other hand we have a strong bowling attack...so in my opinion the match depends on the toss and obviously its 20 20 we cant say much...anything can happen...favorites are India but i will obviously support my team...Pakistan

  • Indyman on September 14, 2007, 1:13 GMT

    Excellent Article, I fully agree with your main contention and sentiments and as an Australian of Indian descent, I would love to see a 5 or 6 test series played every 4 years (home and away). I want the emphasis on Test cricket, not One-day Cricket, for all the reasons outlined in the article. A 3-Test series may be enough but the 5 test schedule is cricket nirvana (unless it is completely one-sided)!!

    Most importantly, a maturing sporting rivalry hopefully could help reduce the political and religious tensions of the area - Now wouldn't that be something!!!

  • Ubaid on September 14, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    Since we [Pakistan] have already qualified , the four guys that didn't play against Scotland should be given a chance. Who knows we might find something that we did not know we had. This will mean putting the passions aside and going for a long-term cool minded approach, looking past the immediate future and having bigger goals in mind. Play Sohail, Abdur Rehman.

  • Pradeep on September 14, 2007, 0:05 GMT

    Very interesting article. I am from southern part of India and grew up listening and reading and watching the grudges and hatred voiced by some players and politicians of both nations. Obviously I developed lot of hatred towards Pakistan and its people.

    My perspective totally changed when I lived in Switzerland for 2 years. I used to play for a league which had 5 Pakistanis and we used to play lot of matches against teams that had predominantly Pakistanis. The more I interacted with them more I realized they are no different from my fellow Indians.

    They were warm, gentle and very nice to get along with. As they say back home, if there are no major issues what's the need for politicians. I think the enmity is fuelled by politicians. I look forward to this match not as clash of rivals but as a match between two talented teams that have never lived to its potential.

  • Alex Philbin on September 13, 2007, 23:34 GMT

    To call India v Pakistan the unquestionable premier contest in cricket is to take slanted view of matters. Unquestionably it is the most watched, most profitable, most passionately observed contest. But in terms of quality of cricket, it just doesn't compare with the Ashes.

  • Arif Hussain on September 13, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    Just read Andy McGlashan's preview of the Aus/Eng match and as we would have thought, he dubs it the premier rivalry match up. Well in the famous words of Don Rummy Rumsfeld... it is "old" Europe or the "has been" rivalry.

    Before claiming on superior over the other, several variables need to be considered, primarily, Impact. Impact can be gauged by 2 primay factors, Financial clout, fan following (population). That would tilt the argument in favor of Kamran...

    Lest this become a race based assertion, I'd say we claim it as it is and like Kamran, call a spade a spade.

    On the match itself, if India play to it's potential, it can dominate Pakistan on Paper. However it's always been a few Pakistanis that have on occasion risen and delivered where it mattered against the alpha rival.

    It should be interesting... Shameless of me, but I feel like cutting from work and watching this game! :-)

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 13, 2007, 22:43 GMT

    An amazing article composed with buoyant grace.

    This might invite political insinuations and inciting comments from those fans who perceive India-Pakistan games as bloody wars. I agree that time has healed much of the venom injected by partition and a couple of decades thereafter. I have always been of the view that peaceful negotiation and compromise are the way ahead for the two nations, rather than wars or unsubstantiated/biased allegations. It is strange how my perception and feelings for India have changed as I have matured. As a kid I was always unsupportive of Tendulkar and could not tolerate watching him play well. Now I have developed a certain respect for his class although he is not amongst my favourite players. As a kid I always wanted India to lose against any team and I still carry the same sentiment. Time will tell if I am to start feeling differently about that.

    Nevertheless, there is a rivalry and a Pakistan victory is much desired, not least because the team has suffered unprecedented ignominy in the World Cup although not at the hands of India. I thoroughly agree with Mr Abbasi that Pakistanis and Indians must learn from the friendly rivalry England the Australia have. However, I feel compelled to state that this “friendly” rivalry may only be limited to cricket as far as the two nations are concerned, when considering the countries’ past and foreseeable political and social climate.

    Shahid Afridi must be promoted to no 2, opening with the Butt. Butt was a major disappointment in the game against Scotland. Firstly, he had trouble playing the seaming ball on an 'un-subcontinental' pitch which is a frequent criticism of his technique, and secondly because the opposition was Scotland. He is the vice-captain and if he plays like that the rest of the players are likely to be de-motivated. They say all’s well that ends well but although Pakistan won, they could have won by a bigger margin had it not been for Butt’s time at the crease. Credit must be given to Afridi who swung the momentum in Pakistan’s favour.

    I would recommend excluding Imran Nazir from the line-up and playing Fawad Alam in Afridi’s position in the middle order. Younis and Malik ought to be promoted to no 3 and 4 respectively.

    The Indians are enjoying this rivalry more than their Pakistani counterparts since the past half a dozen years because they have been winning more matches proportionately than they did before that time. A lot of that has been due to Inzamam’s captaincy and influence on the team. If Pakistan had only one consistent opener they would have won the majority of matches India have won in the past 5 or 6 years. I reiterate that whether the format is Twenty20, Test or ODI, if even one Pakistani opener strikes good form, Pakistan can beat India in almost every match (since I do not expect an opener to score a fifty every innings).

    A few months ago I suggested that Pakistan should arrange a full series with India (consisting of Tests, ODI’s and Twenty20 if possible) every 2 years and they should play a 3 ODI series (which will last less than 10 days) every year. Although the international schedule is hectic both teams do have mutually convenient spaces where these ODI matches can be allotted. As far as Friday’s encounter is concerned the weather position appears bleak unfortunately.

  • yasir from Florida on September 13, 2007, 21:58 GMT

    Probably the first time Mr. Abbasi has come up with some interesting facts and figures. In this blog he has put his creativity to work and talked about something that people dont already know about. Nomally, its Mr. Osman who entertains readers with his way of analysis of the Pakistan Cricket team. Hopefully, Mr. Abbasi, you can keep with entertaining your readers.

    Yasir

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • yasir from Florida on September 13, 2007, 21:58 GMT

    Probably the first time Mr. Abbasi has come up with some interesting facts and figures. In this blog he has put his creativity to work and talked about something that people dont already know about. Nomally, its Mr. Osman who entertains readers with his way of analysis of the Pakistan Cricket team. Hopefully, Mr. Abbasi, you can keep with entertaining your readers.

    Yasir

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 13, 2007, 22:43 GMT

    An amazing article composed with buoyant grace.

    This might invite political insinuations and inciting comments from those fans who perceive India-Pakistan games as bloody wars. I agree that time has healed much of the venom injected by partition and a couple of decades thereafter. I have always been of the view that peaceful negotiation and compromise are the way ahead for the two nations, rather than wars or unsubstantiated/biased allegations. It is strange how my perception and feelings for India have changed as I have matured. As a kid I was always unsupportive of Tendulkar and could not tolerate watching him play well. Now I have developed a certain respect for his class although he is not amongst my favourite players. As a kid I always wanted India to lose against any team and I still carry the same sentiment. Time will tell if I am to start feeling differently about that.

    Nevertheless, there is a rivalry and a Pakistan victory is much desired, not least because the team has suffered unprecedented ignominy in the World Cup although not at the hands of India. I thoroughly agree with Mr Abbasi that Pakistanis and Indians must learn from the friendly rivalry England the Australia have. However, I feel compelled to state that this “friendly” rivalry may only be limited to cricket as far as the two nations are concerned, when considering the countries’ past and foreseeable political and social climate.

    Shahid Afridi must be promoted to no 2, opening with the Butt. Butt was a major disappointment in the game against Scotland. Firstly, he had trouble playing the seaming ball on an 'un-subcontinental' pitch which is a frequent criticism of his technique, and secondly because the opposition was Scotland. He is the vice-captain and if he plays like that the rest of the players are likely to be de-motivated. They say all’s well that ends well but although Pakistan won, they could have won by a bigger margin had it not been for Butt’s time at the crease. Credit must be given to Afridi who swung the momentum in Pakistan’s favour.

    I would recommend excluding Imran Nazir from the line-up and playing Fawad Alam in Afridi’s position in the middle order. Younis and Malik ought to be promoted to no 3 and 4 respectively.

    The Indians are enjoying this rivalry more than their Pakistani counterparts since the past half a dozen years because they have been winning more matches proportionately than they did before that time. A lot of that has been due to Inzamam’s captaincy and influence on the team. If Pakistan had only one consistent opener they would have won the majority of matches India have won in the past 5 or 6 years. I reiterate that whether the format is Twenty20, Test or ODI, if even one Pakistani opener strikes good form, Pakistan can beat India in almost every match (since I do not expect an opener to score a fifty every innings).

    A few months ago I suggested that Pakistan should arrange a full series with India (consisting of Tests, ODI’s and Twenty20 if possible) every 2 years and they should play a 3 ODI series (which will last less than 10 days) every year. Although the international schedule is hectic both teams do have mutually convenient spaces where these ODI matches can be allotted. As far as Friday’s encounter is concerned the weather position appears bleak unfortunately.

  • Arif Hussain on September 13, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    Just read Andy McGlashan's preview of the Aus/Eng match and as we would have thought, he dubs it the premier rivalry match up. Well in the famous words of Don Rummy Rumsfeld... it is "old" Europe or the "has been" rivalry.

    Before claiming on superior over the other, several variables need to be considered, primarily, Impact. Impact can be gauged by 2 primay factors, Financial clout, fan following (population). That would tilt the argument in favor of Kamran...

    Lest this become a race based assertion, I'd say we claim it as it is and like Kamran, call a spade a spade.

    On the match itself, if India play to it's potential, it can dominate Pakistan on Paper. However it's always been a few Pakistanis that have on occasion risen and delivered where it mattered against the alpha rival.

    It should be interesting... Shameless of me, but I feel like cutting from work and watching this game! :-)

  • Alex Philbin on September 13, 2007, 23:34 GMT

    To call India v Pakistan the unquestionable premier contest in cricket is to take slanted view of matters. Unquestionably it is the most watched, most profitable, most passionately observed contest. But in terms of quality of cricket, it just doesn't compare with the Ashes.

  • Pradeep on September 14, 2007, 0:05 GMT

    Very interesting article. I am from southern part of India and grew up listening and reading and watching the grudges and hatred voiced by some players and politicians of both nations. Obviously I developed lot of hatred towards Pakistan and its people.

    My perspective totally changed when I lived in Switzerland for 2 years. I used to play for a league which had 5 Pakistanis and we used to play lot of matches against teams that had predominantly Pakistanis. The more I interacted with them more I realized they are no different from my fellow Indians.

    They were warm, gentle and very nice to get along with. As they say back home, if there are no major issues what's the need for politicians. I think the enmity is fuelled by politicians. I look forward to this match not as clash of rivals but as a match between two talented teams that have never lived to its potential.

  • Ubaid on September 14, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    Since we [Pakistan] have already qualified , the four guys that didn't play against Scotland should be given a chance. Who knows we might find something that we did not know we had. This will mean putting the passions aside and going for a long-term cool minded approach, looking past the immediate future and having bigger goals in mind. Play Sohail, Abdur Rehman.

  • Indyman on September 14, 2007, 1:13 GMT

    Excellent Article, I fully agree with your main contention and sentiments and as an Australian of Indian descent, I would love to see a 5 or 6 test series played every 4 years (home and away). I want the emphasis on Test cricket, not One-day Cricket, for all the reasons outlined in the article. A 3-Test series may be enough but the 5 test schedule is cricket nirvana (unless it is completely one-sided)!!

    Most importantly, a maturing sporting rivalry hopefully could help reduce the political and religious tensions of the area - Now wouldn't that be something!!!

  • Anam Ahmed on September 14, 2007, 1:43 GMT

    This is one of the most awaited matches of the T20 WC...Atleast am eager to watch it...According to my opinion India's batting line-up is solid despite the fact that they lack Ganguly, Sachin and Dravid...they have good options...on the other hand we have a strong bowling attack...so in my opinion the match depends on the toss and obviously its 20 20 we cant say much...anything can happen...favorites are India but i will obviously support my team...Pakistan

  • RM on September 14, 2007, 2:29 GMT

    It's still war!

    Albeit, of a more benign nature, but all the more interesting and fun!!

  • Anthony Stephens on September 14, 2007, 3:57 GMT

    Careful there Kamran. Do not put the burden of politics on sport. The wounds between India and Pakistan will never heal because of Cricket alone.

    Further, the situation between England and Australia is completely different. England helped Australia build a nation.

    I personally enjoy the bite of an India v. Pakistan game. It suddenly gives watching a game that takes 5 days, one day or 3 hours some meaning. All the players are motivated, the atmosphere is electric and we've seen spectacular performances from Saeed, Sachin etc. In contrast, in recent times, the Ashes have been more like "how will England avoid defeat".