The two neighboring countries have had a myriad of differences since the inception of their independence and still continue to have it. India and Pakistan’s political and religious differences and war conflicts have developed a gruesome rivalry in people’s minds. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan an established member of the Muslim League who later became an integral supporter of the Partition, had once said that they would either have a divided India or a destroyed India.
The ugly Partition and the horrors it brought have remained etched in the hearts of people who lost their homes, families, and dear ones. Since then, both nations have always been in a long-standing feud to establish themselves as a better nation and have eventually grown into arch-rivals rather than better friends. The cricket field has been no exception. People who have despised the partition of the two countries have often fantasized about a team that India and Pakistan could have built together, had the division of the two prosperous nations never happened.
History Of Rivalry
India and Pakistan have found themselves at loggerheads on many occasions on and off the field.
The first recorded match between the neighbors was post-independence; in 1952 when Pakistan toured India which would be the first test match Pakistan played as an independent nation. The mammoth moment which went down in the history books saw the likes of Lala Amarnath; the first cricket captain of an independent India, Pankaj Roy, Vinoo Mankad, and Vijay Hazare. Although what could be said as the first test match for Pakistan and its players, it was not. Pakistan’s first cricket captain Abdul Kadar had an extraordinary feather in his cap. Kadar was one of the only three players to have played for both India and Pakistan; the other two being Gul Mohammad and Amir Elahi. India belittled Pakistan to win the five-match test series with a 2-1 aggregate.
During the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan war-conflicts, cricket was put to a halt. Several political occasions saw the suspension of the game between both countries. It was not until 1978 when both governments decided on the resumption of the game.
Over time both countries have tried to establish themselves as a superior power; through the mobilization of armed forces and other means, which has affected the cricket between them at large. In 1984, India’s tour of Pakistan was called off mid-way due to the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
India’s well-pronounced dominance in world cricket is nothing inconspicuous but a head-to-head against their neighbors will have them fall short of more than a handful of wins.
India and Pakistan have faced each other in 59 test matches; out of which Pakistan leads the race with 12 wins and India lags behind with 9 victories. A plethora of matches have either no decisive result or have been drawn.
Similarly in 132 ODIs played between them, Pakistan has emerged victorious on a majority of occasions, 73 matches. India’s wins are pigeonholed in the 20-over format, as they lead by 6 wins to 1.
Although Pakistan has a staggering record in Tests and ODIs; they are yet to win a match against India in the ICC World Cup. India has always got the better of Pakistan’s foible nature and has managed to win against them.
Resumption and Future of Rivalry
After the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and on the Sri Lankan cricket team, Pakistan was stripped off its permission to host any international cricket team. India refused to play with Pakistan after 2008. It was not until 2012 that the bilateral series found its resumption. The significant political differences were set aside and BCCI invited Pakistan for three ODIs and two 20-over matches.
2012 was the last time these two sides faced each other. Before being hosted the bilateral series undergoes innumerable time-consuming formalities before granted permission.
In 2021 the world might witness a bilateral series between these two giants; with a six-day window up for takes, the Pakistan media reported PCB might invite India for a tour later this year. As per speculation, a short T20 series can be underway following closely after the cease-fire by both the countries along the Line of Control. There has been no official announcement by the respective cricketing committees but given the political relations thawed out; a T20 series in the month of July is plausible.