Why is the India v Pakistan Cricket World Cup Match So Important?
by Steve Ashfield | by Valeria Di Meglio
There are some rivalries in sport that are so important to the followers of each nation. England v Australia is one but India v Pakistan surpasses that, especially in terms of the number of people who can't wait for the games to be played. October 14 is a date that Indian and Pakistani cricket fans have had in their diaries ever since the draw for the group stage of the 2023 Cricket World Cup was made. But why is this match so important to fans?
Kohli Out to Lead India to Victory
At the age of 34 this may well be the final Cricket World Cup for Virat Kohli. The prolific run scorer remains one of the best batters in the world regardless of which form of the game he plays. Nothing would give him greater pleasure than seeing India beat Pakistan. Perhaps, even winning this tournament isn't as important as beating their rivals.
The two countries have a bitter rivalry and that's included military conflicts. At least on the cricket field there are not going to be anything of that nature. Even so, the atmosphere in games played between India and Pakistan are like nothing seen elsewhere. Even when the two sides have met in England during a tournament, the crowd is full of Indians and Pakistanis who yearn to support their home nation.
Tickets for this match were sold out inside one hour of them going on sale. That's a special fact because the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is the largest cricket ground in the world. 132,000 fans will be pouring into the stadium for this match. No wonder that finding accommodation in Ahmedabad is almost as difficult as dismissing Kohli.
Millions will watch this game on television. In India, coverage is on Star Sports and DD Sports. For those in Pakistan, they need to tune into A Sports and PTV Sports.
Pakistan Out to Create History
It was back in 1947 that the rivalry between India and Pakistan began after the end of British colonial rule. While Pakistan have beaten India in one-day cricket matches more than India have beaten them, it's a different story in the Cricket World Cup. Pakistan has never beaten India in the Cricket World Cup. They've met on seven previous occasions and their failure to win is a painful statistic for any Pakistani cricket supporter.
Pakistan fans live for the matches their country plays against India. To win this match on October 14 would be cheered by every single one of their fans. Forget the rivalries in other sports, the bragging rights in this clash are larger than anything else.
Players such as Abdullah Shafique (seen above) and Mohammad Rizwan have both already scored centuries in this 2023 Cricket World Cup, Every one of their fans will be hoping that form can be continued in this match against India. To go to India and finally get that first win over their rivals in the Cricket World Cup is the dream of every Pakistani supporter. If it happens, they certainly won't be quiet about it!
Unbeaten Starts for Both Teams
This match is such an important one in the 2023 Cricket World Cup which is being played in India. Ten countries are in the round-robin group stage and they all play each other once. At the end of these games, the top four teams go into the knockout semi-finals. It's possible that this match on October 14 could be a dress-rehearsal for the semi-final or perhaps even the final that takes place on November 14 in the same stadium they play in on October 14.
India have won the Cricket World Cup on two previous occasions. They won in 1983 and then lifted the trophy again in 2011. 12 years after that last success they are the favorites to win a third title. Pakistan have only won the Cricket World Cup once and that was way back in 1992. To go to India and win another title is their dream.
Both countries have made strong starts to this 2023 Cricket World Cup. India have beaten Australia and Afghanistan and look well on their way to the semi-finals. Pakistan have also won both of their matches. They began with a win over the Netherlands and then had a stunning victory over Sri Lanka chasing down their opponents total of 344.
Which team will go into their next fixture having won all three of their games? Only time will tell but it's going to be an occasion that will be totally unforgettable. For more on this match you can read our India v Pakistan prediction.