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'Like Super Bowl...': Afridi Likens IND vs PAK Clash To The American Sport

IND vs PAK is scheduled for June 9 in New York (x.com)IND vs PAK is scheduled for June 9 in New York (x.com)

The intense rivalry between India and Pakistan is well-known, often considered one of the most thrilling match-ups in world cricket. 

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has likened the upcoming India-Pakistan clash on June 9 at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium to the Super Bowl in the USA, emphasizing that the team which best handles the pressure will likely triumph in the T20 World Cup.

This high-stakes cricket match will be held in the USA for the first time and Afridi, a Pakistani cricket legend, will be watching from the stands. 

Shahid Afridi Compares India vs Pakistan Match

Speaking to the ICC, Afridi remarked, "For those Americans discovering the tournament, they should know that Pakistan's game against India is like our Super Bowl. I used to absolutely love playing India and I really believe it is the biggest rivalry in sport. When I played in those games, I got a lot of love and respect from the Indian fans and it means so much to both sides."

He added that handling the occasion's pressure is crucial.

 "Against India, it is about handling the pressure of the occasion. There is so much talent in both teams, they just need to put it together on the day. That will be the case in that game and in the tournament overall. The team that can hold its nerve will come out on top."

The T20 World Cup 2024 is being co-hosted by the USA and West Indies, with the Super 8 stage and knockouts taking place in these locations. Afridi noted the unpredictability of T20 cricket and the depth of batting line-ups, making it difficult to predict a favourite. 

"T20 cricket is so unpredictable, and teams can bat so deep now. You can have a batter coming in at No.8 and smashing the ball at a strike rate of 150 to win a game. I hope that will be Pakistan this time around, but it is hard to pick a favorite," he said.

Pakistan's preparation for the tournament has been less than ideal, with recent losses in England and a defeat to Ireland. The last T20 World Cup encounter between India and Pakistan was a memorable one, with Virat Kohli leading India to a spectacular victory.

Shahid Afridi was announced as the T20 World Cup 2024 ambassador on May 25, joining other iconic figures such as Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle and Usain Bolt.