All of this has increased the likelihood of India and Pakistan meeting in a fantasy final, with the teams on opposite sides of the draw. On Wednesday, Pakistan will face New Zealand in Sydney, while India will face England in Adelaide on Thursday.
The prospect of the bitter rivals meeting for the fourth time in recent months, despite them not playing each other in bilaterals due to political differences, has sparked a tournament that has captivated cricket purists but failed to captivate mainstream Australia, with the tournament taking place before the peak season of December and January.
Attendances for non-India games have been low, with even reigning champions Australia playing in front of tiny audiences. However, India has reinforced their image as cricket’s unquestioned drawcard by consistently packing Australia’s legendary huge venues, as seen by an attendance of 82,000 during their MCG match against smaller nation Zimbabwe.
A swarm of Indian reporters has also crammed into overloaded media boxes to supply much-needed enthusiasm and non-stop coverage in a far cry from matches in which India is not participating. Some countries, including top Full members South Africa and New Zealand, have sent almost no media representatives. As a result, there has been an imbalance in coverage, which is not surprising in a sport that is increasingly slanted toward all-powerful India.
The Covid-19 epidemic, along with downsized media businesses, has probably contributed to a lack of travelling journalists, but that scarcely matters right now, with India still in the running, and England and Pakistan still pretty well represented by reporters on the ground.
The prospect of an India-Pakistan final, which would somehow eclipse the strange images of the 90,000-strong rowdy MCG crowd from little over two weeks ago, has produced chaos and has somehow transcended the competition.
The historic previous encounter between India and Pakistan – maybe the greatest T20 match of all time, highlighted by possibly the finest innings of all time from the most popular player of this age in a feverish atmosphere – has whipped everyone into a frenzy.
It’s not just ardent Indians and Pakistanis who want their teams to win. Every true cricket fan longs for this legendary rivalry to re-emerge on the largest platform of all, laced with such intense politics in the background only for the games to be played amid such tremendous enthusiasm.
Please suggest your opinion in this case.