World Cup 2019: Game against India is not a war, just another encounter says Shoaib Malik

This time they will meet on June 16 in the World Cup 2019 in Manchester.

Pakistan players
Pakistan players. (Photo Source: Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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The India-Pakistan rivalry in cricket is one of the fiercest ones fought both on and off the field. The whole thing rises to another level when the two teams meet in an event like the ICC World Cup, where India holds the upper hand with a lead of 6-0 since their first meeting in 1992 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. In some important matches between the two countries, India has defeated Pakistan in the semi-finals of the 2011 edition and in the QFs of the 1996 edition.

This time they will meet on June 16 in the World Cup 2019 in Manchester, England and given the recent animosity between the two countries after the Pulwama incident in which more than 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives and the Indian Air Forces conducting strikes inside Pakistan; the atmosphere between the two nations is of tension, which may spill onto the field as well.

Shoaib Malik, veteran Pakistani batsman has cast aside the notion that India-Pakistan games are ‘war’, as to what many cricket experts are attaching to the upcoming encounter. “It’s my own opinion but the word ‘war’ is a very strange word to me. I don’t think it’s good to use that word – definitely not in sports,” Malik said.

Shoaib Malik wants to use love rather than hate

Malik has been part of many exciting India vs Pakistan encounters including their recent most meetings in the Asia Cup 2018, where the Men in Blue defeated the Men in Green both the times, the two teams faced-off in the tournament.

“When you deal with ‘love’, then everything becomes a bit easier – whether it’s cricket or any other sports. It unites people together. When people travel across nations and feel the warmth and love they receive, then a lot of illusions wither away,” the Pakistan all-rounder was quoted as saying in an interview by a Pak journalist.

The 37-year-old termed it just another match like Pakistan will play against other teams in the tournament. On the other hand, Malik has already announced that the World Cup 2019 will be his last ODI assignment in Green Jersey. Malik has had a stellar career for the Men in Green, playing 282 ODIs and 111 T20Is, making 7,481 runs at an average of 35.12 including 9 centuries and 2,263 runs respectively. He has also taken 216 wickets in international cricket in a career that started way back in 1999.

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