Birmingham, Uk’s second largest city, is buzzing with the high voltage India-Pakistan game, with hundreds of fans enjoying despite damp weather. Fans had queued in front of the stands much before the match started.
A match had started before the match and it was between the Blues of India and Greens of Pakistan as the electrifying atmosphere rose further when both the teams arrived some 90 minutes before the match. Fans had brought trumpets and musical instruments to raise the cacophony around the stadium. Some Kashmiris had brought a big banner criticizing the atrocities committed by the Indian government.
“We want to show the world from this forum of India’s aggression and brutal killings of Kashmiris by the Indian soldiers,” said Naseer Junaid, holding a big banner demanding “Freedom.”
But inside the stadium there were songs like, “Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi chorangay” as fans accommodated each other and left aside any rivalrly.
None of the Indian or Pakistani fans were ready to accept their defeat. “Pakistan is no match to India, they have always lost to Pakistan in the ICC events and today will be no different,” said Ram Ragonath, who has come all the way from New Delhi. Pakistan’s Israr Haider is quick to respond. “Our team has no super stars but they are capable of upsetting Pakistan and today will be that day.”
But same are more wise and know cricket. “Whoever plays well should win,” said Dr Kuldip Yadav, who lives in Birmingham for 30 years now. “After all its a game and I feel appalled by some people who think that whoever wins will get Kashmir.”
Former Pakistan captain Mushtaq Ahmed, who also lives in Birmingham, showed disappointment at fans’ aggressive behavior.
“When I played cricket the game used to foster harmony,” Mushtaq told media. “Now it has changed, may be because of the strained relations between the two countries.”
Rain briefly dampened the spirits as dark clouds hovered around the stadium. It was expected but not as early as after 9.5 overs as India batted steadily.