Birmingham (United Kingdom), June 15 (ANI): As India and Pakistan gear up for an ICC Champions Trophy Group B match here, fans of both countries said the match is significant for reasons apart from cricket.
"I am looking forward to the match tomorrow, because this is a very significant match for every Indian and every Pakistani around the globe as for reasons apart from cricket. And I hope that India performs to its best," said Prashant Raj, an Indian cricket fan.
"Regardless of Pakistan being out of the tournament, I think that there is a lot of significance in this game, because India has so far not defeated Pakistan in a Champions Trophy encounter. So I was here nine years ago for the Champions Trophy encounter where India had lost. So I have travelled again from Germany to watch this game and I am very sure that India will have a different result this time," said Shovan Mathur, another fan.
"An India-Pakistan match is always an important match for us. This alone makes the tournament look like the final now," said Inzamam, a Pakistani cricket fan.
The Asian giants are competing in what is essentially a dead rubber as India has already secured a place in the semi-finals after victories over West Indies and South Africa. Pakistan on the other hand has been knocked out of tournament after two consecutive defeats.
Fans are hoping to watch an exciting match between the two arch rivals.
Tickets for the match were sold out in 30 minutes.
Birmingham is the second most populous city outside of London. The city is home to a chunky mass of Asian expats whose voracious appetite for cricket has always seen Edgbaston wearing its prettiest frock when India and Pakistan play.
At least 90 per cent of the 25,000 capacity crowd is expected to be divided between the sub-continental cricket giants.
The battle lines are drawn afresh and only pride and honors is at stake.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, M. Irfan, Asad Ali, Wahab Riaz, Umer Amin, Abdul Rehman, Ehsan Adil.
Match starts 3pm (IST). (ANI)