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‘Mother, father & grandfather of all contests’: Legends weigh in on India-Pakistan blockbuster meet-up | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: With no bilateral cricket between the two nations for over a decade now due to political tensions, arch-rivals India and Pakistan gear up for a rare Asia Cup contest in Pallekele.
The face-off between India and Pakistan is limited only to multi-nation tournaments and Saturday’s high-octane match between the two nations will be their first since the T20 World Cup last year in October.
In the run-up to the marquee clash Pakistan great Wasim Akram and former Team India coach Ravi Shastri advocated for more contests and talked about the pressure of expectations players go through ahead of the titanic game.

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“Cricket is massive in Pakistan and India, that’s the only sport left. Hockey disappeared, squash disappeared. When you guys talk about Ashes, England has 60 million people, Australia has 25 million people. Pakistan and India together? 1.6 billion people. In our day there was no social media, so there was no pressure, unless you read a newspaper, and when I was young I hardly read a newspaper. We have about 65 news channels in Pakistan, and India has thousands. Every day there are programs saying, ‘We’re going to win, we’re going to win’. That also adds pressure,” Akram was quoted as saying by Fox Cricket.

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-30 at 8.37.42 AM (1).

Despite the political tensions, Akram hoped India and Pakistan would resume playing each other soon. The pacer and Shastri agreed on the fact that if the two nations can not host the games, the MCG would be the perfect place for the mega clash.
“I think the MCG as you saw in the last World Cup would be the perfect venue. Pakistan would also be an ideal venue if India wants, but if India wants a neutral venue, then I think Australia would be an ideal place,” Akram added.

“India-Pakistan is the mother, father and grandfather of all contests. The G witnessed one of the great contests with 90,000 people there for the recent T20 World Cup when India and Pakistan played and I was commentating on it and it was huge. The fact of the matter is if India and Pakistan play again bilaterally they will play it at home. Let’s make that clear. The MCG would be an option if there was no solution and the boards agreed to it. If the MCG ever hosted the World Test Championship and India and Pakistan were in it would just happen and what an occasion that would be … let’s hope it does happen,” Shastri said.

The last time India and Pakistan faced each other during the Super 12 encounter of the T20 World Cup in 2022, Rohit Sharma and co. won the match by 4 wickets.

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