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The Ashes > Indo-Pak

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Ashes vs the Indo-Pak rivalry has been a topic under the limelight for over a decade now. There is a great deal of history involved in both these series. As far as the ashes goes the history is based purely on some of the most breath taking games that have ever been played. The game in Sydney 1954. In the second Test , Frank Tyson, an integral part of the English bowling attack, was hospitalised by a Ray Lindwall bouncer which struck him on the head. With Australia needing just 233 runs to win with over a day’s play left in Sydney, Tyson recovered and wrote his name into cricketing folklore by bowling ‘faster than any man had ever bowled’ according to the following day’s papers, who described him as a ‘Typhoon’. The game in Old Trafford 1993, which is known for ‘The Ball of the Century’. With the England batsman Mike Gatting at the crease, Warne delivered a ball which although pitching outside the leg stump, somehow managed to spin back to take away the off stump bail. 

The Indo-Pak history involves much more sinuous issues than merely the game of cricket. The two countries not only share a great deal of animosity for each other but are also divided on various other topics & thus the series is looked at in a much broader perspective than just cricket.

The question: Which is more popular,  The Ashes or Indo-Pak rivalry?

Cynics might say that there is no greater rivalry than Indo-Pak. However, I firmly believe that the Ashes series is far more popular as it seeks much more global attention worldwide and not just the people from England and Australia. Yes, I accede to the statistics & figures which might show that there are a lot many people watching an Indo-Pak game than the Ashes but the question is of all those people how many are not from India or Pakistan. The truth is some of them do not even have the slightest knowledge about cricket. All they care about is for their country to undermine the other. Whereas when it comes to the Ashes, Test cricket is at its very best. In a mouthwatering contest between the bat and ball, batsmen are made to work hard for each run, their skills, technique put to test against the swinging ball on a green top unlike in an Indo-Pak game where the batsmen can go hell for leather right from the start. 

Coming to an Indo-Pak Test match as compared to the Ashes it stands out nowhere. The pitch is either passive where you can virtually hit the ball wherever you wish and more often than not, the match ends with both sides making runs in excess of 500 or the pitches are rank turners & the match ends in 3 days. However, the pressure involved in an Indo-Pak game is humongous and not comparable to the pressure involved between any other two nations. But the pressure is more on political & historical grounds. Not only does it overshadow the prime importance of cricket but also deters the sportsmanship between the two nations as the players of the losing side are ridiculed to an extent that there have been instances where the Pakistan team was made to land at an aiport contrary to the one mentioned in the schedule. There also have been instances of the houses of Indian players being burned down. It boggles the mind of the people for whom winning an Indo-Pak game is of greater significance than perhaps even the World Cup or for that matter any other cup.

An Indo-Pak game undoubtedly is one game which every Indian or Pakistani looks forward to but the ashes is a series which every 'cricket lover' looks forward to. Therein lies the huge difference between the two vastly intricate tournaments which involve two very competitive sides with immense talent and share a great deal of history. But when it comes to cricket and cricket alone, there is no denying the fact that the Ashes is far more superior to the Indo-Pak series.



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