Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is Mohali (India) the right venue to host semis?

Well as an Indian and an avid cricket fan, I am also eagerly looking forward to the fifth India-Pakistan match in world cups (barring T20 world cups and ICC champions trophies). This will be the second time Pakistan will have to tour India to play a match against the hosts after the famous 1996 world cup quarter finals played at Bangalore which was Javed Miandad's last show on the international stage. Needless to be said, India won that battle by 39 runs despite a threatening start from the Pakistani openers namely Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail who saw Pakistan reach 113/1 after 13 overs.

Anyway, that is history and then things were not that serious as is the case now. Things were not anticipated then in the match at Bangalore, with India winning the match unlike what happened in the semi-finals against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens. Now, Pakistan is once again cursed to tour the venue which he last prefers to. So would be the case for India, for whom the ghosts of the 1996 semi-finals might haunt again in case they give a sign a being defeated. This has happened earlier in a tri nation tournament with Pakistan having a high upper hand and people start hurling bottles on Pakistan players.

Luckily for captains of both teams, there was no India-Pakistan match until 1992 which averted something similar in 1987. In 1996, though there was nothing unexpected in the quarter-finals at Bangalore, what happened in the semi-finals was nothing compared to what would have happened had India won that semi-finals against Sri Lanka. The finals of the 1996 world cup was held at Lahore which might have made the then India captain Mohammed Azharuddin think many times before winning the semis. Anything might have happened had India toured Pakistan for the finals in case India managed to do so. Though this was not the reason for the defeat, it cannot be completely ruled out.

Since then, Pakistan has never been a venue for any world cup tournaments be it the world cup, the T20 world cup or the ICC champions trophy. Pakistan has been canceled to host an ICC champions trophy in 2008, which was canceled completely with the ICC not deciding on the venue to host the tournament that year. And then, this time Pakistan was denied to host any matches of the ongoing world cup which would have made Indians smile to a greater extent compared to other countries. Afridi may just think upon going back to Pakistan rather than be the target for bottles and paper rockets gifted by angry fans for having his team trounce India.

One can just see paint colors in Afridi's face with dilemma whether to go in for the kill or save his life from people's anger.


balaji @ Dominos India said...

Nice update, we are most interesting cricket updating. Please update the cricket score is more viewers increasing. Bye….

Door Hangers said...

Great day today. I had news exact search from you site. I really impress to read that article. I openly I said your site will go in peak. Thanks Bye.