Amid the cliched swears and stares, once again we are about to witness the infamous rivalry between India and Pakistan on the English soil of Edgbaston, Birmingham. The two rivals are all set to lock horns on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Both the cricketing giants have met three times before this in the ICC Champions Trophy and Pakistan takes delight of the winning-joy 2 times, while India grabbed the match once. As the men in blue look forward to equal the record, the war of words have already begun.
Let’s have a look on some of the reactions from cricketers around the globe:
1. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag during a show on ABP News told Shoaib Akhtar that he hopes people of Pakistan don’t break their TV sets after losing, instead, they should buy a radio as it is cheaper. The veteran Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akhtar fumbled and covered this up by saying that they have many old Chinese TV sets which don’t work, so they break them.
2. Salman Butt
The former Pakistan Captian Salman Butt told The Express Tribune, “They should not take any kind of pressure. Instead, they should just enjoy the game and play like they normally do. There is, of course, added pressure since the entire world is watching but they must know that all of Pakistan is behind them.”
3. Shahid Afridi
The Pakistan legend backed Indian side to win the match. “As a passionate Pakistan supporter, it’s natural that I would want my team to finish on the winning side against any team, and especially against India. However, recent history and the depth of the India squad gives it a slight edge heading into the game,” he wrote in a column for ICC.
4. Stephen Fleming
The former Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming was quoted by PTI saying,”Pakistan are a little inconsistent given the young nature of their side and that’s where India have an edge. India is more settled and played together a lot.” He also stated that India is one of the favourites to the lift the Champions Trophy this year.
5. VVS Laxman
The confident and ‘very very special’ comment came from former Indian cricketer Laxman. “If we (India) play to our potential, we will definitely go and win the game,” Laxman told PTI ahead of the match.
Meanwhile, both the captains are all set to take the field and will hope for a good performance from their respective sides.
Here’s what they had to say:
In a press conference, Ahmad said his side will be pumped up to take on India. “We all know how lively these Pakistan-India matches are, so we will turn up fully motivated to have a winning start,” he added.
On the other hand, Kohli looked far more relaxed about the match. “It’s about playing the game. Yes, India-Pakistan is always exciting for the fans. It’s different for them. For us, it is just a game of cricket. In our heads nothing really changes, it’s exactly the same for us. It’s not the first time we are playing against them. Playing for India, you don’t need extra motivation,” he said before leaving for England.