Akshay Ramesh ManchesterJune 16, 2019UPDATED: June 16, 2019 10:32 IST A sell-out is expected at Old Trafford, Manchester for India vs Pakistan (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSIndia and Pakistan will face-off on June 16 in ManchesterThe build up to the game suggests that it could be the most watched cricket match in historyThe 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka holds the current viewership recordThe stakes are high. Thousands of fans from across the globe have arrived in Manchester for Round 7 of India vs Pakistan at World Cups but will the weather gods show some mercy on the stakeholders?Tickets were sold out for India vs Pakistan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 within minutes of the opening of ticket window. Some of them are reportedly being resold at a cost of upto Rs 60,000. There is arguably no bigger event in world cricket at the moment than a meeting between the arch-rivals and neighbours.After months of waiting, the big day is finally here. India and Pakistan are set for their 7th meeting in World Cups as Manchester gears up to host the “marquee” match at Old Trafford.Thousands of fans from across the globe, including Sudhir Kumar and Chacha Chicago, have arrived in Manchester. The home of Red Devils and the Sky Blues going to be painted blue and green on Sunday.What about viewership? India-Pakistan World Cup clashes are among the most-watched cricket games in the history of the sport. The 2011 World Cup semi-final still is the second most watched cricket game with a reported 495 million viewers only behind the Mumbai final between India and Sri Lanka (558 million).The upcoming tie could just dethrone the 2011 final, considering the recent history between the two neighbours. Pakistan are confident of opening their World Cup account vs India after the 2017 Champions Trophy final win. India, well, they are certainly a cut above the chasing pack in England this year.advertisementHowever, all the stakeholders are at the mercy of rain gods who have been busy in England over the last few days. In fact, they are right on top of the World Cup 2019 points table with 8 points after 4 washed out matches, including India’s meeting against New Zealand on Thursday, so far.Weather prediction for Sunday in Manchester might have given travelling fans a sleepless night. Back home, even the most optimistic fans would have worked on a few back-up plans for Sunday evening.Light showers are predicted in the second half of the match but the main concern is over the condition of the Old Trafford turf due to the rainfall in the days leading up to the India-Pakistan match.Harbhajan Singh, World Cup-winning India off-spinner speaking to India Today on Saturday, said he discussed the issues with Old Trafford’s drainage. Notably, only the centre wicket and the square was covered on the eve of the match even as it rained cats and dogs in Manchester.Batting great Sunil Gavaskar blasted the England and Wales Cricket Board for the lack of rain readiness and empathised with the fans, saying “the entire world is waiting to watch India and Pakistan play”. The former India opener said ECB should be held accountable if the rain gods decide to dampen the spirits of the fans from the two cricket-crazy countries.Amid all the talk around the weather, the two teams went about their pre-match duties in a nonchalant matter, leaving the rest to the rain gods.Captain Virat Kohli played down the hype surrounding the India-Pakistan World Cup matches. On the other hand, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur, it seems, has done a Kabir Khan from Bollywood blockbuster ‘Chak de India’ in order to get the Pakistan players fired up for the blockbuster.India have beaten Pakistan 6 times in as many attempts in World Cups but their upcoming match-up is still the prominent narrative of World Cup 2019. What makes it so special despite the one-sided record?Ask the master, Sachin Tendulkar. Speaking to India Today ahead of Sunday’s Manchester meeting, the batting great said it’s impossible to avoid butterflies in the stomach ahead of India-Pakistan matches at World Cups.”Sometimes in a press conference, players want to play that low key message but in your mind, you know it’s different as people react to it differently,” Tendulkar said.”Every run/wicket matters. In the end, you still have to play cricket. Mentally it’s all about absorbing pressure, staying calm, staying in the present.”Apart from the India and Pakistan cricketers, the ECB may also be feeling the heat this time around.Also Read | India vs Pakistan: Mohammed Shami likely to replace Kuldeep Yadav in crucial World Cup matchAlso Read | India vs Pakistan: Mohammad Amir inspired by memory of late mother ahead of Manchester tieFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow India vs PakistanFollow Virat Kohli India vs Pakistan, World Cup 2019: Will June 16 witness the most-watched match in cricket history?As India and Pakistan gear up to meet for the 7th time in World Cup history, the anticipation surrounding the match could boost the viewership numbers to a never-seen-before highadvertisement Next
Vivo S1 India launch on August 7: 6 reasons this phone can give tough competition to Redmi, Realme
Conflict of Interest allegation against Sachin Tendulkar infructuous: BCCI ethics officer
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.