Devendra Pandey, our reporter notes from Melbourne: There have been signs of relief with reports predicting it to be a cloudy evening ahead of the match between India and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. There has been a fear of rain since the past few days and many fans have been praying for the weather gods to take a Sunday off. The stadium is expected to be a full house and all tickets have been sold for the marquee clash at the T20 World Cup.
With the cricketing world in awe of Virat Kohli for hitting Pakistani pacer Haris Rauf for two consecutive sixes off the last two balls of the 19th over in the chase of 160 runs, former Pakistan captain and pacer Wasim Akram has highlighted the mistakes done by Rauf and other Pakistani bowlers in the match.
Once, we had a very interesting cricket match between India and Pakistan. Ajay Jadeja was the captain of the Indian team. It was a limited-over one-day cricket match and played in Feroze Shah Kotla ground, New Delhi. Both teams were equally good and the match was evenly poised.
The Pakistan team started well and played positive cricket. There was an opening partnership of 80 valuable runs between Shahid Afridi and Shahid Anwar. These 80 runs were made in just 15 overs. Anwar was out at a respectable score of 50 runs. Then came Injmam-ul-Haq. He was playing good strokes and hit three consecutive boundaries in an over of Sunil Joshi before he was given L.B.W. out. It made him disappointed. Thereafter their middle-order batsmen collapsed like nine pins at regular intervals.
India and Pakistan are two cricket crazy nations and whenever these two teams clash with each other, it creates a very unique aura both inside and outside the stadium where the match is being played. The cricket competitions between the two countries are loaded with deeper political and diplomatic meaning.
This is what made cricket diplomacy between these two countries very special. The people who were directly or indirectly involved in India-Pakistan foreign policy had one thing in common: their passion for cricket. Though people on both sides were very much against each other, still the fans from both sides went into stadiums and sat together for the whole day to enjoy the match.
Kashmir, due to the prevailing anti-India sentiments in the insurgency era, saw itself aligned toward Pakistan. This led Kashmiris to support the Pakistani team whenever a cricket match happened. Media reports in Greater Kashmir and other Kashmir dailies reported that people distributed sweets and burned crackers whenever India lost and they prayed for Pakistan to win.
During this period, India went to Pakistan for a three-match ODI series, made possible by the resumption of high level talks between the two countries. Yet cricket between the two nations continued to become more and more tense. In three World Cups where India defeated Pakistan (in 1992, 1996, and 1999), political statements made by both sides using cricketing terminology created controversies.
When Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York in September 1998, it was decided that foreign secretary-level talks would be held between India and Pakistan, and a direct bus service between Lahore and Delhi was proposed. These talks led to the Pakistan cricket team touring India for a two-match test series in January and February of 1999. These two teams were seeing each other in a test series after a long gap of 10 years.
In 2004, Vajpayee again went to Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit, which was very successful in bringing the two countries together after a long time. To boost the new-born friendship, the Indian government gave the green light to a full-fledged Indian team cricket tour of Pakistan, comprising of three tests and five ODIs. Thousands of visas were given to people to cross the border to see the match.
Before the Indian cricket team left for Pakistan, they were invited to meet Vajpayee at his residence, where he asked the cricketers to not only win the matches, but also win the hearts of Pakistani public.
The Indian team was given a grand welcome in Pakistan and wherever they went to play, the crowds gave them huge support. It was a new experience for both the Indian cricketers and the Pakistani public. New friendships were forged between the Indian spectators and Pakistani public during the series. Over the next three years, the two countries played each other three times, once more in Pakistan in 2006, and twice in India in 2005 and 2007. Pakistani spectators were given the same heart-warming reception when they came to India to watch the matches.
However, in March 2007, terrorists attacked Sri Lankan cricketers while they were on the team bus, ready to play a test match against Pakistan in Lahore. Some of the Sri Lankan players were injured and they had to be airlifted from the stadium. From then on, the International Cricket Council suspended Pakistan from hosting international matches.
According to a Star India spokesperson, the India and Pakistan match in the Super 12s has created history by achieving a record of 167 million viewers, making it the most-watched T20I match till date. It exceeded the previous viewership record of 136 million between India vs West Indies 2016 ICC World Cup T20 semi-finals.
It took 17 years and four World Cups before India and Pakistan first met at the marquee event in international cricket. When they finally did, it signalled the start of an epic phase in the rivalry between the two.
The second World Cup clash between the rivals came in a high-voltage quarterfinal in 1996, which had all the markings of a classic. The controversy surrounding Pakistan captain Wasim Akram pulling out of the match at the last minute only added to the tension that accompanies every India-Pakistan clash.
By the end of the 17th century, the game of cricket had developed into a significant sport in England. In 1697, the first known cricket contest was held in Sussex, which was termed the First-class match.
In the 1760s, the Hambledon Club was founded to organize cricket matches. Before the foundation of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Hambledon Club was the leading cricket club In England.
In 1862, the English cricket team reached Australia to play a cricket match. Later in 1868, the Australian cricket team made its first international cricket tour to England. Subsequently, the cricketing relationship between England and Australia strengthened, which paved the way for the first Test match between both countries in 1877 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). This test match resulted in the most prestigious Test cricket tournament, The Ashes, in 1882, which has been played till now between Australia and England.
Another milestone of this era was the introduction of Limited Overs cricket in England. Earlier, only Test cricket was played, a game of five days that was too time-consuming. This gave birth to Limited Overs Cricket. In this, the number of overs was reduced to 100, 50 overs for each side batting and bowling. This format of cricket is also termed One-day cricket. The first ever One-day international match was played between England and Australia on 5th January 1971 at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia.
With the coming of the 21st century, cricket has become one of the most popular games throughout the world. Many nations were playing this game at the international level. Only a few teams earned the accreditation of Test playing because it required specific statistical criteria to be fulfilled by the ICC. The teams that were given permission to play Test matches during this period were Bangladesh in 2000, Ireland, and Afghanistan in 2018.
In 2003, a new format of cricket was introduced at the county level in England that reduced both the overs and the duration of the game. The game became short, and it was the T20 format of cricket. In this, both the teams get 20 overs each, and the game lasts only 3 hours. The first T20 cricket game was played between England and New Zealand women's teams on 5th August 2004. The popularity of this format rose more rapidly than the One-day format. Cricket fans loved this format because of its fast-moving gameplay. In 2007, within three years of its international introduction, ICC launched the T20 International World Cup, which was played in South Africa.
The game of cricket is played on a big circular or oval ground, with a diameter of 136m to 150m for men. For women, it usually varies between 110m to 130m. As per the ICC bye-laws, the minimum playing area for a classic Test match should have a diameter of 137.16m.
An over consists of six balls to be bowled by a bowler. A bowler throws the ball six times in one go, completing an over. In a 50-over match, a single bowler bowls for a maximum of 10 overs, whereas in Test cricket, there is no limit of overs to be bowled by the bowler. In the fresh T20 format, a single bowler's maximum limit of over is four overs.
The game of cricket is played between two teams. Each team has eleven members, of which some are batters, some are bowlers, and some are those who do both batting and bowling; they are known as all-rounders. There is also one member who is specialized in fielding behind the stumps and is termed a wicketkeeper.
The ICC World Test Championship started in August 2019. It is the premier world championship for test cricket format. In this, the top nine test playing teams of the world play test matches between them as part of different test match series. These are league matches, with rights reserved with the game hosting nation. The total league matches are played for two years; on the basis of rankings, the top two teams play the final.
The final match is the event of the ICC, and the winner of the final game becomes the ICC World Test champion. The championship in 2019 started with the Ashes series and ended with the final match between India and New Zealand in June 2021. New Zealand won the game and became the first ICC World champion. 1e1e36bf2d