On Saturday, Baba Ramdev, Yoga guru, said the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match 2021 scheduled for Sunday is against the national interest and ‘Rashtradharma’ as the ‘game of cricket, and the game of terror cannot be played at the same time.’ Ahead of the game, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has made a hugely controversial statement which only fires the fuel between the rivalry of both the teams.
Former champions India and Pakistan will face off on Sunday in a T20 World Cup blockbuster in Dubai, and the buzz around the game underlines the enduring appeal of the matchup between the subcontinent’s feuding neighbours. India captain Virat Kohli and Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam have called it just another game, but that is clearly not the case.
Baba Ramdev: Cricket Match Between India-Pakistan Against Rashtradharma And Not In The Interest Of The Nation
Speaking to reporters at the Nagpur airport, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Saturday said the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match scheduled for Sunday is against the national interest and ‘Rashtradharma’ as the ‘game of cricket, and the game of terror cannot be played at the same time.’
When asked about Sunday’s India-Pakistan cricket tie amid tensions on the LOC, Baba Ramdev said, “I feel that the cricket match under such a situation is against ‘Rashtradharma ‘ and not in the interest of the nation. The game of cricket and the game of terror cannot be played at the same time.”
The nuclear-armed neighbours have gone to war three times since gaining independence from British colonial rule in the mid-20th century and remain at loggerheads over Kashmir. India and Pakistan have not played the Test series for more than 14 years.
As far as bilateral series in ODIs and T20Is are concerned, it has been over eight years. India-Pakistan only faces each other during ICC events like ODI, T20I World Cups, Champions Trophy, and Asia Cup. The political tension between the two neighbouring countries escalated after the terror attack in Mumbai’s Taj Hotel in 2008.
Baba Ramdev’s remarks came amid the ongoing anti-terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir in which several Army personnel have died, and at least 11 civilians have been killed in the valley over the past two weeks.
India Has An Unbeaten 12-0 Record Against Pakistan In World Cups
India last hosted Pakistan in a bilateral series in 2013, and the teams now meet only in global tournaments, the last being the 2019 ODI World Cup in England. India has a 12-0 record against Pakistan in T20 and 50-overs World Cups, and they will hope to extend that streak in their tournament opener against their arch-rivals. The match is a repeat of the 2007 final when India pipped Pakistan to the inaugural title after a heart-stopping match.
The Indian team for T20I World Cup 2007 was fairly young, captained by a 26-year-old MS Dhoni. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, and Zaheer Khan had opted out of the tournament. MS Dhoni, who was on the rise, was given the reins of the team, and he created history with a bunch of youngsters. India defeated Pakistan in the final, played in Johannesburg, to claim the inaugural T20 World title.
India has won seven of their eight T20Is against Pakistan, with five of those coming at the World Cup. However, Pakistan is yet to beat their arch-rivals India in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions. Both India (2007) and Pakistan (2009) are former champions in the World T20 and have played plenty of cricket in UAE thanks to IPL and PSL.