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Sellout Crowd, Massive TV Audience Expected For India-Pakistan Cricket Match In England


FILE: The Indian and Pakistani teams leave the field after a match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai in September 2018.

More than 700,000 people applied for tickets to the Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and India in the British city of Manchester in a stadium that holds about 23,500 fans, official said.

The match between the teams representing the bitter nuclear rivals will be held on June 16 at Old Trafford stadium.

Large numbers of ex-pat Indians and Pakistanis live in the region, and cricket is by far the most popular sport in their home countries. Hundreds of millions of viewers are expected to watch the match on television.

Pakistan's coach, Mickey Arthur -- a South African who has previously coached the national teams of South Africa and Australia -- said he told his players that "you could be a hero tomorrow."

"Your careers are going to be defined by a moment in the game. You do something incredible tomorrow, you'll be remembered forever," he said he told them.

India has won all six of its Cricket World Cup games played against Pakistan.

India, ranked No. 2 in the world, is favored to win.

Outside of sport, tensions are often high between India and Pakistan, especially over the divided region of Kashmir, which is claimed in full by both countries.

The rivals have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir, where the two sides still regularly exchange fire, since they won independence from Britain in 1947.

Based on reporting by the BBC, AP, and AFP

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