Pakistan team is getting ‘home’ advantage in England
One can expect a fans rivalry when the two neighbours meet at The Oval on Sunday for the ultimate clash.
Updated - Jun 16, 2017 7:55 pm
The fan support Pakistani team has been getting in England is tremendous. London could just turn into Lahore on Sunday when Pakistan take on arch-rivals India in the grand finale. Pakistan opener Azhar Ali praised his team’s supporters for making them feel at home in their semi-final victory over England. Pakistani fans dominated the 12,500-strong crowd on Wednesday and watched their team eliminate the hosts with an eight-wicket win to progress to the final.
Pakistan’s journey to the finals has been an enthralling one. Nobody would have expected the team that was thrashed by India in the tournament opener to reach the finals. Consistent performance from players like Sarfraz Ahmed, Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan got them this far. But seems that the psychological advantage of having supporters in England has also helped the team.
“The last time we played here in the fifth ODI, although we lost the first four games, still the Pakistani fans came to support us,” Azhar said. “And in that game it looked like we were playing at home. It’s good to have that feeling. We don’t play at home so when we get the crowd supporting us, we love it. So thanks to the crowd for coming in, they’ve been brilliant.”
Celebrations inside and outside the stadium
On Wednesday, the Pakistani players acknowledged the strong crowd support by walking a lap of the ground, applauding the vocal supporters. While fans inside the ground were already screaming their hearts out in support of the team, there was no dearth of fans outside the stadium either. There had been similar scenes after their victory over Sri Lanka on Monday. Fans were seen dancing on the streets surrounding the ground.
But Team India also has no dearth of supporters whichever part of the world they play in. One can expect a fans rivalry when the two neighbours meet at The Oval on Sunday for the ultimate clash.