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ICC World Cup 2019: India match not a war, says Shoaib Malik

Malik’s comments came ahead of the much-anticipated World Cup clash between India and Pakistan at Manchester on June 16.

cricket Updated: Apr 28, 2019 11:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC World Cup 2019,Cricket World Cup,ODI World Cup
Shoaib Malik reacts on India-Pakistan World Cup match on June 16 at Manchester(IANS)

Refusing to term the India-Pakistan ICC World Cup 2019 encounter a war, former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said it is nothing more than a normal cricket match. Malik said there was no space for a strong word like war in sports and people should instead focus on spreading love.

“It’s my own opinion but the word ‘war’ is a very strange word to me. I don’t think it’s good to use that word - definitely not in sports,” Malik told a Pakistani journalist.

“It’s just another match and just like the ones against other teams,” said Malik.

Malik’s comments came ahead of the much-anticipated World Cup clash between India and Pakistan at Manchester on June 16.

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The two countries were on verge of a war not too long ago when border tensions escalated to air strikes in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on February 14 which killed more than 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Malik said cricket should act as a bridge between the two countries. “When you deal with ‘love’, then everything becomes a bit easier - whether it’s cricket or any other sports. It unites people together. When people travel across nations and feel the warmth and love they receive, then a lot of illusions wither away,” Malik added.

Malik has already confirmed that the upcoming ODI World Cup in England will be his last tryst with a world event.

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“This will be my last World Cup and I want Pakistan to win it. I believe there is a fantastic combination of young and senior players in this squad,” Malik had said earlier.

Malik is currently in England with the Pakistan squad where they are slated to play a one-off T20I and a five-match ODI series against the hosts before heading into the World Cup.

Pakistan will play two warm-up World Cup games against Afghanistan on May 24 and Bangladesh on May 26, before taking on the West Indies in their first World Cup match in Nottingham on May 31.

Pakistan World Cup Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez(subject to fitness), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain

First Published: Apr 28, 2019 10:59 IST