ICC World Cup 2019: Michael Vaughan thinks India-Pakistan game will go ahead as planned
"That game will be a spectacle."
Updated - Feb 28, 2019 7:36 pm
The cricketing world is apprehensive whether the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan will impact the ICC World Cup scheduled in May-July for there are voices in India seeking a boycott of the game against the arch-rivals scheduled at Old Trafford on June 16. Though the cricketing fraternity in India is divided over whether the Men in Blue should boycott their green counterparts at the mega event, the uncertainty is still on.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, however, is optimistic. He expects the high-voltage clash to go ahead as per the schedule. The two teams are set to meet in the round-robin stage but there have been calls to boycott Pakistan to protest the killings of over 40 CRPF personnel in a suicide terror attack on a convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and senior cricketer Harbhajan Singh spoke in favour of not playing Pakistan at the WC though there have also been opinions differing with them.
CT 2017 final was most watched sporting event that year, says Vaughan
The 44-year-old Vaughan who played in two World Cups and led England in the 2007 edition in the Caribbeans said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “The Champions Trophy final in 2017 [between India and Pakistan] was the most-watched sporting event that year. That’s the magnitude of the game. I hope it goes ahead and I’m sure it will. Sport has to separate itself and go on. That game will be a spectacle that everyone in Manchester will be looking forward to.”
India versus Pakistan matches have always been top draws in world cricket and especially in World Cups. However, in terms of results, India have always dominated their arch-rivals at the showpiece event, winning all six games they have played so far since 1992.
Indian captain Virat Kohli said the team will abide by the decision taken by the country’s government and board when it comes to the idea of boycotting Pakistan in the WC. India, like all other teams, will play against nine opponents in the round-robin stage before the top four advance to the semi-finals.