T20 World Cup 2021, ICC Cricket, India vs Pakistan, Start Time, Date Rivalry, History, Preview, Shahid Afridi, Harbhajan Singh


When it comes to cricket rivalries, all is pale in comparison to the fierce and bitter battle between India and Pakistan.

For both nations, it is simply more than cricket.

There have been a number of fiery clashes over the years as tensions boiled between warring neighbors.

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The rivalry is so fierce that the bilateral series between nations are no longer scheduled, meaning they will only meet once in a blue moon during the events of the ICC.

Now, one of those rare occasions has finally returned.

The two opponents face each other on Monday morning in a tantalizing T20 World Cup match for the final installment of their epic rivalry.

Former Australian drummer Matthew Hayden believes the rivalry between big rivals is unmatched in the sport, with Australia and England not even close.

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“In the different elements of the game that I have participated in, nothing ever matches the rivalry between India and Pakistan,” said Hayden. India today.

“So yeah, there is obvious pressure, just like there is obvious pressure if you are an Aussie playing against England.

“The pressure is however only as far as you allow it.”

The strained relationship between the two cricket powers stems from bitter diplomatic relations and conflicts dating back as far as the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, the Indo-Pakistan wars and the conflict in Kashmir.

This historically strained diplomatic relationship has set the scene for an intense sporting rivalry between the two neighboring countries, both of which have a proud and rich history of cricket.

Over the years since their first round of testing in 1952-1953, new chapters of the fierce field rivalry have been forged in Test, One Day International and more recently T20 cricket.


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The results were a unique fusion of skill, passion for their country and, at times, anger that overflowed as the two proud nations and warring tribes sought to win at all costs.

Before the last installment of one of the most exciting cricket competitions foxsports.com.au look back and some of the memorable and fiery moments that forged this special rivalry.


At the 1992 World Cup between India and Pakistan in Sydney, Australia, Pakistani batting supremo Javed Miandad was increasingly agitated by the excessive and overzealous appeal of Indian wicket keeper Kiran More.

The two rivals were involved in a heated exchange of words before Miandad finally complained to the referee.

The next delivery, the Pakistani batsman ran a two and despite having gotten his way with ease, More facetiously removed the bonds and called for a run-out.

Later in the match, More’s over-enthusiastic call for a leg-side grab with striking Miandad prompted a hilarious reaction from the Pakistani star.

A frustrated Miandad jumped in place to emulate More, leaving everyone nearby to roar with laughter.

Pakistani star Javed Miandad at the 1992 World Cup.Source: News Corp Australia


In the 1996 World Cup quarter-final at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium, Pakistan were in an almost unbeatable position in their 287 chase, with Amir Sohail dominating the Indian attack.

Shortly after Sohail raised his 50s with a stunning bowling cover from Venkatesh Prasad, passionate words were exchanged between the two.

A cheeky Sohail gestured towards the edge of cover, suggesting he would knock Prasad’s next delivery over the rope in that direction.

However, it was the Indian Middle Pace that had the final say with their next ball, beating Sohail and shooting the stumps.

The generally gentle-mannered Prasad let all his emotions escape in unusual ways and fired Sohail for his troubles.

Venkatesh Prasad celebrates his wicket win against Pakistan in the 1996 World Cup.Source: AP


The inaugural T20 World Cup saw the two Indian and Pakistani rivals face off twice in the same tournament and the two competitions were not easy to forget.

Their first match of the group stage ended in a draw, but India eventually took an outrageous victory due to the infamous bowl-off.

The scores were tied after Pakistan scored 141/7 in response to India’s 141/9 total as Misbah-ul-Haq missed the last ball of the game.

However, the tournament rules resulted in a rare bowl-off with selected bowlers from each team who had to hit the stumps in a phenomenon similar to a football shootout.

Indians Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa were on target, while Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi all missed a good margin as India claimed a wild victory.

The second clash between the teams was the unforgettable final, in which India snatched victory from the clutches of defeat.

Pakistan was cruising at 76/4 in response to 5/157 from India, before a flurry of late wickets saw them overthrow for 152.

Misbah-ul-Haq was the last to come out for 43 when his infamous scoop shot was caught by Sreesanth with three balls remaining and a pandemonium ensued.

Prior to the 2007 World Cup Asian teams hadn’t played much T20 cricket and one wonders if the format would be the heavyweight it is today if India and Pakistan and their fierce rivalry didn’t. had not set fire to this inaugural tournament.

Gautam Gambhir (C) and Yousuf Pathan celebrate India’s victory in the 2007 T20 World Cup as Pakistani batsman Misbah-Ul-Haq (L) leaves the floor.Source: Limited News


Tensions erupted during Pakistan’s third One Day International tour of India in 2007 at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, when Indian opener Gautam Gambhir was involved in an unpleasant verbal altercation with Shahid Afridi.

Gambhir punched Afridi for a border, prompting the Pakistani all-rounder to utter a few words the Indian opener initially ignored.

However, moments later, Gambhir collided with Afridi while rushing for a quick single.

The collision prompted the pair to exchange jokes (in Hindi and Punjabi) and the referees eventually had to step in to calm the two players down.

Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi in 2007.Source: AFP


Gautam Gambhir was involved in another heated exchange during the 2010 Asian Cup fourth match between India and Pakistan in Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

The southpaw attempted to slide a ball from his hip down Saeed Ajmal’s leg and missed the ball with wicket keeper Kamran Akmal, who believed the batsman had a tickle on it.

Akmal made an overzealous call for a hold that was denied by the referee.

However, on the next drink break, Gambhir and Akmal walked over to each other and almost hit each other’s heads, while exchanging fierce looks and letting swear words fly against each other. .

Eventually, referee Billy Bowden had to separate the enraged foes and Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was beating on the other end, had to pull Gambhir out to defuse the situation.

Kamran Akmal from Pakistan in 2010.Source: AP


In the same match where Gambhir and Akmal faced off, Pakistani paceman Shoaib Akhtar and Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh were also embroiled in a heated feud in the final moments of the match.

India, chasing 267, needed seven points on the last and the mood was tense with all of India’s recognized batsmen back in the flag.

Akhtar, who knocked down the penultimate, was determined to try and ensure that Singh didn’t get the strike in the last and the chance to lead India to victory.

During Akhtar’s end, Singh missed a bullet and the paceman launched a tirade of curse words in Punjabi.

As the two players became more and more agitated with each other, the referees were forced to come between them to calm the growing tensions.

However, it was Singh who had the last laugh when he smashed a six against Mohammad Amir in the final.

A jubilant Singh was captured roaring like a tiger, which did not impress Akhtar, who was bubbling over the fence bordering on slender legs.

Pakistani Shoaib Akhtar in 2010.Source: AP

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