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World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli-Sarfraz Ahmed shake hands, ICC calls it spirit of cricket

The high-octane World Cup clash between India and Pakistan is scheduled to be on June 16 in Manchester.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The World Cup has not even started yet and the euphoria surrounding the India-Pakistan game is already reaching soaring heights. The fiery clash has always been the biggest attraction in world cricket and the upcoming contest remains no exception. Virat Kohli-led India will lock horns against Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan in the high-voltage clash on June 16 in Manchester. The two teams had last met in the 2018 Asia Cup when India had defeated Pakistan in two games convincingly.

The World Cup-clash, nonetheless, will be perhaps more than just a game this time around. With the people of India still not over the Pulwama attack, emotions will be sky high when India takes on their arch-rivals. The Pulwama attack was carried out by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed and had claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnel. There were also apprehensions that India would boycott Pakistan in the tournament but things are heading in the opposite direction as of now.

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And before India and Pakistan lock horns in the tournament, the ICC has said what it’s all about. Sharing a picture of Kohli and Sarfraz shaking hands during the captain’s meet before the start of the warm-up games, the ICC tweeted

“#spiritofcricket 🤝”

Kohli downplays hype

Meanwhile, Kohli has downplayed the hype surrounding the India-Pakistan game. The India skipper admitted that every India-Pakistan clash is a very anticipated clash but said that players treat it like just any other game.

“India-Pakistan is a very anticipated match but we keep saying that it’s very different for us from the way the fans look at it. You feel the anticipation of the fans when you enter the ground but as soon as you step on the field, it’s all professional. It’s a bowler trying to execute his skills and a batsman trying to execute his skills to the best of the potential. For us, it’s just another game that you need to win as a team. It brings pressure because the atmosphere is different but you feel it only till you start competing,” said Kohli.

The World Cup will start on May 30 with hosts England locking horns against South Africa in the first game of the tournament.

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