ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Pakistan, semi-final, World Cup 2011, Mohali

Pakistan PM accepts Indian invitation

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 27, 2011

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Gilani will visit Mohali, Islamabad, March 7, 2011
Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Gilani will attend the semi-final at Mohali © Getty Images
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Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Gilani has accepted the invitation of his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, to attend the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan in Mohali on March 30. Relations between the two countries took a turn for the worse in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, and the cricket teams of the two countries haven't played each other on home soil since. Analysts say the Indian prime minister's latest gesture will help to break the diplomatic deadlock.

"It was decided in response to the Indian Prime Minister's invitation that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will visit India to witness the semi-final cricket match," presidential spokesman Faharullah Babar said on Sunday in Islamabad.

Cricket has been used as an instrument of diplomacy between India and Pakistan in the past. In 1987, during an India-Pakistan Test in Jaipur, the then president of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq paid a visit to the Sawai Mansingh Stadium and met Rajiv Gandhi, India's prime minister. Then, in 2004, India toured Pakistan for a full series for the first time in 15 years as the governments of the two countries aimed at improving relations.

The build-up to the upcoming semi-final in Mohali has been massive. Tickets were sold out well in advance, hotels within a 25 km radius of the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium have no rooms available and almost 6,500 visas are expected to be issued for fans travelling from Pakistan. India and Pakistan have played each other on four occasions in World Cups, with India winning each time.

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 51 
Posted by mkhaleeq on (March 29, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

best of luck for pakistan.............Hope it will be gud cricket match.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

THATS VERY GOOD NEWS IN FACT. THIS IS A VERY GOOD MOVE BY BOTH PM's. THE MATCH WILL BE VERY INTERESTING IT SEEMS.... I SIMPLY LOVE THIS

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 11:09 GMT)

This will be a great match, but I personally believe that Pakistan will win this match. Pakistan Zindabad!!!

Posted by SAIFMAIHAN on (March 28, 2011, 9:27 GMT)

Hope that India continue the process of winning cricket matches in world Cup and hope to win this time as well.

Posted by Chinthaka24 on (March 28, 2011, 8:37 GMT)

Game is a passion to bring opponents together. At the end of it all will congrats to winner. Game is a reason to be more friendly. and enjoy.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

Inshallah pakistan win the race on 30th march

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 7:28 GMT)

It doesnt get bigger than this..

Posted by Salman_SS on (March 28, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

PM Gilani should take Imran Khan with him and win the heart of millions of Pakistani cricket fans ..

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

FINGERS CROSSED... BRING IT ON INDIA !!! LET IT B THE MOTHER OF ALL MATCHES :)

Posted by Meety on (March 28, 2011, 2:44 GMT)

This is the good bit about cricket & international relations!

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