T20 World Cup: Fans pray for ‘peace’ ahead of India-Pakistan clash | Cricket News – Times of India

DUBAI: Fans of India and Pakistan have called for “peace” and more cricket between the two Asian giants ahead of the blockbuster clash in Sunday’s T20 World Cup.
The horn will lock in Dubai in the biggest game of the tournament with an expected television audience of one billion people.
But the matches between the two cricket-crazy countries are so short and so far apart that India has severed bilateral ties with its neighbors since 2007.

“We should play more of each other. It’s a pleasure to see these two teams on the cricket field,” Mohammad Ashraf, a Pakistani national working in the UAE, told AFP.
“Virat Kohli vs Hasan Ali, what a competition! Politicians should not waste all this for their own gain. Let them play cricket. I pray for peace between the two countries.”
Protests have erupted in India-called Kashmir in the wake of the recent killings of 11 migrant workers and minority Hindus and Sikhs.

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When Pakistan toured India for five limited-overs matches in 2012-13, there was a minor glitch in the competition but since then it has only been seen in multi-nation tournaments.
They last played in Manchester during the 50 overs World Cup in 2019 and India were also urged to boycott the game.
“I brought a ticket to play as soon as I went online. I mean you are looking forward to this competition, especially when you are far away from home,” Pankhuri Raj Mehta, an Indian who has been working in Abu Dhabi since 2017, told AFP.
“I know there are always problems with Pakistan. But it’s for politicians to solve. I will enjoy playing with my husband.”

Competition tickets go on sale within hours of going online, and many private online channels are reselling entry passes at ridiculous prices.
But the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that resale tickets will be invalid.
The tension in Dubai is obvious, but some see it as inappropriate because of the tensions between the nations.
“I think this exercise is meaningless. People are dying in the border areas and we are playing cricket,” Raghubir Singh, an Indian who is visiting Dubai for Expo 2020, told AFP.
“Stop the bleeding first and then play as much as you want.”

The two countries have fought two wars over Kashmir – divided into two nations – since independence in 1947.
Virat Kohli’s India entered the tournament with an unbeaten 5-0 record.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said, “Breaking the record means” and the fans echoed the sentiments of their captain.

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Hassan Sheikh, a Peshawar-born taxi driver in Dubai, said, “We will win insha’Allah. See, this is a new day.”
“We have a good team with Babar as captain and our bowling is great. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali will hit India.”

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