The intensity of the match between India and Pakistan at the World Cup in Manchester on Sunday paled in comparison to the build-up, but there were moments on and off the pitch which displayed that the spirit of cricket was alive and well.
One of the moments which drew applause from both sets of fans was a mid-pitch gesture from India skipper Virat Kohli towards Wahab Riaz. The two fierce competitors were up against each other in the middle of the Indian innings when the pacer slipped in his follow-through. With Wahab not getting up on his feet for a while, Kohli walked up and checked on him.
The two then exchanged smiles before carrying on:
Virat Kohli is such a gentleman. The sportsmanship he displayed is reflection of his grandeur.
He knew he edged it and therefore walked off instead of waiting for umpire’s decision. Patted Wahab when he fell. He has won a million more fans!
How can anyone hate him?#INDvPAK
Zia Ur Rehman (@09ee97) June 16, 2019
There were frequent chats between players from both sides through the match as well. The camaraderie on the field was good to see and a departure from the jingoism that had accompanied the build-up to the match.
Another incident from the match, involving a couple who were watching the match from the stands in clothes stitched together from the jerseys of India and Pakistan, also grabbed a lot of attention.
A married couple from Canada, one of whom hails from India and the other from Pakistan, turned up at the match sporting the unique ‘combined India-Pakistan’ jerseys.
Spotted this couple at the #IndiaVsPakistan @cricketworldcup game and was intrigued by their jerseys! Husband is from Pakistan, wife from India so both stitched up India-Pak jerseys & wore them! Both are Canadians, watching the game in England, rooting for peace #SpiritofCricket pic.twitter.com/KrUjtkjFMn
Lakshmi Kaul (@KaulLakshmi) June 16, 2019
There were other moments of unity through cricket spotted in the stands throughout the match as well.
The action off the field is almost as exciting as what’s happening on it in Manchester!
ICC (@ICC) June 16, 2019
Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 16, 2019
Also, MS Dhoni had arranged for match tickets so that ‘Chacha Chicago’, a Pakistan superfan, could see the game. He was seen sitting with Indian fans in the stands on Sunday.