India-Pakistan is one of the fiercest rivalries in cricket and the amount of emotions that flow in the game can be witnessed on every platform where India and Pakistan have a game. Politics and the unstable security situation in Pakistan has led to the recent tours of India and Pakistan being cancelled. This has left the cricket crazy fans of both countries started to see their respective stars battle it out in the middle with bat and ball and therefore whenever India plays Pakistan in any tournament, the emotions run high and it leads to a situation where ugly fights happen. Hence we bring to you 5 reasons why fans of both countries should keep their differences aside and enjoy the game as one.
1. It is not a war!! Just a game:
Just remember, it is not a war. War is fought in battlefields and not in cricket stadiums and making it feel like the fans are ready to fight at fall of every wicket or at every six that is hit. We get it that you want to celebrate your team getting a wicket or hitting a six, but can you not shove that celebration in the face of your rival fan.
Even on social media, tweets and troll posts degrading players and teams sometimes get out of hand. Things are said, memes are posted that troll each other. Though everyone wants to show their patriotism via social media for their team, it should be said that everything should be kept a bit civil.
2. Cricket is a common passion:
Cricket is perhaps the only thing other than hockey that brings the sports fans of both countries together. When India and Pakistan meet each other in any country, there are hordes of fans in the stadium from both countries. This is a perfect way to make friends from your neighboring country and watch the match in the spirit of the game.
You have seen the famous Cricket Chacha from Pakistan and the die-hard Sachin fan from India having lunch and dinner together in peace and that’s what should be projected instead of the hatred that fans from the both sides tend to say towards each other. Cricket is a common denominator between us and it is the only thing that can lead to some civility between both sides.
This passion will be seen when India play Pakistan at Dharamshala on March 19 in the World T20 tournament and fans from both sides will respect the sentiments of one another and watch the game as cricket fans.
3. Mutual respect and love for players:
Everyone remembers the standing ovation that Pakistani players got after winning the historic Chennai Test in 1999. Pakistan and India were playing a bilateral series after 10 years and the fans from India embraced the Wasim Akram led side with open arms and thanked them for taking the trip to India and treat the fans with some great cricket.
Similarly when India visited Pakistan in 2004-05, the Sourav Ganguly led Indian team was greeted by deafening applause by the crowd at Karachi stadium. Even when the Pakistani side toured India after the 2008 attacks, in 2013, they were greeted with warm feelings by the fans that just want to watch cricket and not get into the whole politics of why these matches shouldn’t happen and why they should.
The recent case of the Pakistani fan who adores Virat Kohli and who raised the Indian flag shows that fans from both sides appreciate and respect players of both teams.
4. The rich history of India-Pak cricket:
India and Pakistan share a great history of cricket not only as separate nations, but also when India was undivided. There are many players like Hafeez Kardar who played for undivided India, who then represented Pakistan in their inaugural Test in 1952. It is probably a very rare record in cricket.
Even then, the history of India-Pak cricket is littered with records made by the greats of the game from both sides. Every fan of India remembers Zaheer Abbas, Majid Khan, Mohsin Khan, Fazal Mahmood, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-haq to name a few. The Pakistani fans adore Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Lala Amarnath, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Virat Kolhi to name a few.
This shows that they are aware of the rich history of cricket that both nations share and this is something that can bring the fans of both nations closer.
5. Most intense and unique rivalries in cricket
Unlike the Australia-England rivalry that is based on a burnt bail, the India-Pakistan rivalry is a very unique one. The India-Pakistan cricket matches are not just watched by cricket fans, but even the people who don’t watch cricket normally or don’t understand the game, watch the matches, just because of the emotions involved in the matches.
Not only civilians, but the armed forces of both countries watch the matches with the same emotion, shared across the border. Each fan wants his/her team to beat the other and the emotions run high only until the match is on. After the match gets over, things go back to normal and people feel emotionally drained as the intensity of the match takes everything out of every one.
Therefore, on 19th march, when India and Pakistan play each other in Dharamshala in the upcoming World T20, fans from both the sides should watch the match as one and enjoy the cricket, rather than bickering with each other after the game gets over. Remember it is the only thing that can bring people from both countries together.