Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram called the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry as the greatest rivalry of the game overshadowing the Ashes rivalry shared between Australia and England.
“We talk about the Ashes as the biggest cricket rivalry, but there is no comparison to India-Pakistan”, said Akram, while talking at OTB AM. “There are 1.3 billion people in India and over 200 million people in Pakistan. Imagine the pressure before the game happens month before. At home your mum says don't lose. Your dad says don't lose. Your aunts say don't lose. So for a month you go through this pressure,” he said.
However, all the pressure brings in rewards as well informed Akram as one becomes an overnight sensation if they perform well against the arch rivals.
“If you perform well against India as a Pakistani - and vice versa for an Indian against Pakistan - you become a sudden hero in the whole country. All the sponsorship, everybody is after you and if you don't perform well you go right to the bottom."
The turbulent relations between the neighboring countries has taken a toll on the cricketing rivalry, as bilateral series have become a thing of the past and the arch rivals hardly meet each other in tournaments, with the upcoming clash at the ICC World Cup 2019.