Puneet Varma (Editor)

India–Pakistan cricket rivalry

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Teams  India Pakistan
India–Pakistan cricket rivalry
First meeting  16–19 October 1952 (Test) 1 October 1978 (ODI) 14 September 2007 (T20I)
Latest meeting  19 March 2016 2016 ICC World Twenty20, Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Next meeting  4 June 2017 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Edgbaston, Birmingham
Meetings total  Tests:59 ODIs: 128 T20Is: 8
Most wins  Tests: (Pakistan 12; India 9 ) ODIs: (Pakistan 72; India 51) T20: (India 6; Pakistan 1)

The India–Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world. An India-Pakistan cricket match has been estimated to attract up to one billion viewers, according to TV ratings firms and various other reports. The 2011 World Cup semifinal between the two teams attracted around 988 million television viewers. Also tickets for the India-Pakistan match in the 2015 World Cup sold out just 12 minutes after they went on sale.


The arch-rival relations between the two nations, resulting from the extensive communal violence and conflict that marked the Partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947 and the subsequent Kashmir conflict, laid the foundations for the emergence of an intense sporting rivalry between the two nations who had erstwhile shared a common cricketing heritage. The first Test series between the two teams took place in 1951-52, when Pakistan toured India. India toured Pakistan for the first time in 1954-55. Between 1962 and 1977, no cricket was played between the two countries owing to two major wars in 1965 and 1971. The 1999 Kargil War and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks have also interrupted cricketing ties between the two nations.

The growth of large expatriate populations from India and Pakistan across the world led to neutral states like the United Arab Emirates and Canada hosting several bilateral and multilateral ODI series involving the two teams. Players in both teams routinely face intense pressure to win, and are threatened by extreme reactions in defeat. Extreme fan reactions to defeats in key matches such as in the ICC Cricket World Cup have been recorded, with a limited degree of violence and public disturbances.At the same time, India-Pakistan cricket matches have also offered opportunities for cricket diplomacy as a means to improve relations between the two countries by allowing heads of state to exchange visits and cricket followers from either country to travel to the other to watch the matches.


The partition of British India in 1947 that led to the creation of an independent India and Pakistan was characterised by intense and bloody conflict between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs that left one million people dead. An estimated ten million people migrated to the nation of their choice. The bloody legacy of the partition and the subsequent emergence of territorial disputes and wars being fought over them have all added to the growth of intense rivalries in field hockey, association football but especially in cricket, which had been developed during British colonial rule and is the most popular sport in both nations. Many of the players in the first post-independence teams of India and Pakistan had played together as teammates in regional and local tournaments.

Pakistan became a permanent member of the International Cricket Council in 1948, and their tour of India was their first in Test cricket history. They lost the first Test in Delhi to India, but won the second Test in Lucknow, which led to an angry reaction from the home crowd against the Indian players. India clinched the Test series after winning the third Test in Bombay, but the intense pressure affected the players of both teams to the point that they pursued mainly defensive tactics that led to drawn matches and whole series without a victor. When India toured Pakistan in 1955, thousands of Indian fans were granted visas to go to the Pakistani city of Lahore to watch the Test match. But both the 1955 series and Pakistan's tour of India in 1961 ended in a drawn series with no test yielding a winner or loser. Complaints about the fairness of umpires also became routine.

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and subsequent Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 put a hold on India-Pakistan cricket that lasted till 1978, when India toured Pakistan and cricket resumed for a brief period. In the post-1971 period, politics became a direct factor in the holding of cricketing events. India has suspended cricketing ties with Pakistan several times following terrorist attacks or other hostilities. The resumption of cricketing ties in 1978 came with the emergence of heads of government in both India and Pakistan who were not directly connected with the 1971 war and coincided with their formal initiatives to normalize bilateral relations. Shortly after a period of belligerency during the Operation Brasstacks war games, Pakistani president Zia-ul-Haq was invited to watch the India-Pakistan test match being played in the Indian city of Jaipur. This form of cricket diplomacy has occurred several times afterwards as well. Pakistan toured India in 1979, but an Indian tour of Pakistan in 1984 was cancelled mid-way due to the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

In the late 1980s and for most of the 1990s, India and Pakistan squared-off on neutral venues such as Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and in Toronto, Canada, where large audiences of expatriates regularly watched them play. The series between the teams in Canada in the 1990s and early 2000s were officially known as the "Friendship Cup". Sharjah even though a neutral venue was considered as the "back yard of Pakistan" given the close proximity and the massive support the team generated.

The rise of multinational competitions such as the Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20 the Austral-Asia Cup and the Asia Cup led to more regular albeit briefer contests.

In 1999, immediately following Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's historic visit to Pakistan, the Pakistani team toured India for Test matches and played in an ODI competition before the Kargil War again put bilateral relations in deep freeze. Prime Minister Vajpayee's peace initiative of 2003 led to India touring Pakistan after a gap of almost 15 years. Subsequent exchange tours were held in 2005 and 2006 before the 2008 Mumbai attacks led to the suspension of India's planned tour of Pakistan in 2009 and all future engagements in Pakistan. India was scheduled to begin the tour of Pakistan from 13 January to 19 February 2009, but was cancelled because of the tension existing between the two countries after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

The rise of domestic terrorism led to Pakistan not hosting international cricket since the Sri Lankan team was attacked in 2009, and Pakistan was stripped of its co-host status for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. India and Pakistan qualified for the first semi-final in Chandigarh, India, and the Indian government invited the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the match along with his Indian counterpart, Dr. Manmohan Singh. Bilateral ties finally resumed when BCCI invited the Pakistan national team to tour India for 3 ODIs and 2 T20s in December 2012. The three ODIs were held in New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai with Ahmedabad and Bangalore hosted two T20I fixtures.

In March 2013, 66 Kashmiri students studying at Swami Vivekanand Subharti University in Meerut, India were expelled and briefly threatened with sedition charges because they cheered for the Pakistani cricket team during a televised match against India at the Asia Cup.

On 27 June 2014, Pakistan Cricket Board stated that an agreement to play 6 bilateral series has been signed with BCCI during the ICC annual conference in Melbourne. After lengthy negotiations, involving offers and counter-offers on the venues and scheduling of the first of these series in December 2015, the boards were unable to reach an agreement, and the BCCI did tour for a full series against Pakistan in the UAE, and communications petered out with no result.

ICC Tournaments

  • Notes:The 2007 ICC World Twenty20 match between the teams ended in a tie, but India was awarded the points as a result of a Bowl Out. The match result was officially recorded as a tie.
  • ICC Tournaments

  • Notes:
  • * The 2002 ICC Champions Trophy was shared between Sri Lanka and India.

    Continental Tournaments

  • Notes:
  • * India did not participate in 2001-02 Asian Test Championship.

    Series involving other teams

    The table contains details and results only of matches played between India and Pakistan in the respective series and not matches with other teams involved in the series.

  • Note:
  • The match was abandoned.


  • Notes: The 1987 ODI match between the teams ended in a tie, but India was awarded the match as a result of a losing lesser wickets. IND 212/6(44 overs) & PAK 212/7(44 overs).
  • Players who have played for both teams

    After the partition in 1947, Pakistan emerged to play cricket. But India had already been playing cricket matches pre-independence. Three players have played for Pakistan after appearing for India. They are:

  • Amir Elahi – India (one test vs. Australia at Sydney in 1947), Pakistan (1952–53)
  • Gul Mohammad – India (1946–55), Pakistan (one test vs. Australia at Karachi in 1956)
  • Abdul Hafeez Kardar – India (1946–48), Pakistan (1948–58)
  • Although Pakistan was created in 1947, Gul Mohammad continued to represent India until 1955, and played for India against Pakistan in Pakistan's first tour of India in 1951-52.


    India–Pakistan cricket rivalry Wikipedia