A shared passion for film, music and most importantly cricket brought two teams together early Sunday morning. When India and Pakistan don the cricket flannels, hopes and aspirations run high on both sides.
The match, played at the grounds of the Dubai Sevens, attracted more than 200 spectators despite a 1:00 AM start. The crowd chanted “Pakistan zindabad!” and “Chak de India”, with supporters on both sides joining each other each often.
“We will be playing as professionals today, with four first class cricket players on our side,” said Team Pakistan captain Javed Mansoor before the game. “The Jubilee Games is a huge platform for our young players. We are one Jamat and we will play the game together.”
Sujeet Parbatani, India’s captain agreed.
“We have been waiting to play this match ever since we got here,” he said. “What matters here is friendship, togetherness and the opportunities for both the teams.” The highly anticipated match saw Pakistan set a target of 207 runs, and ultimately beat India by 79.
Pakistan’s performance was dominated by two excellent batsmen. Mir Afzal Baig hit his first century at the Jubilee Games with 114 runs, while Murtaza Majeed, a league player in the UAE, completed his half century with 69.
India started off well but their performance dipped when they lost wickets in quick succession. Still, fans and players alike agreed the experience was worth the early morning start.