Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Indian player Gautam Gambhir emphasised on why trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand do not have the fiery rivalry as India-Pakistan.

Australia are set to lock horns with New Zealand in the most important clash of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 final on Sunday.

Difficult to note rivalry between Australia and New Zealand: Gautam Gambhir

Being neighbours, the vigour for the contest between the two nations does not match the level of the Asian rivals bring to the table.

India and Pakistan matches do bring a lot of emotions amongst both the nations snd their fans. However, with the two sides not playing bilateral series anymore, their meeting is possible only in ICC events.

It is difficult to notice the cricketing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand. Like India and Pakistan, they are neighbours too. Like Indians and Pakistanis, Aussies and Kiwis hate losing to each other. While Wikipedia has a page on ‘India Pakistan Cricket Rivalry’, it is more widespread for Aussies and Kiwis,” Gambhir wrote in his column for Times of India.

Kane Williamson and Aaron Finch, T20 World Cup
Kane Williamson and Aaron Finch (Credits: Twitter)

Encouraged by their contests in cricket, rugby union, rugby league and netball, their Wikipedia address is ‘Australia-New Zealand Sports Rivalries’.

By no means is the rivalry as fierce as the one between India and Pakistan. Have you wondered why? Are they not cynical enough to create lop-sided advertising campaigns to sell their products riding on what is essentially a cricket match? Or is it economics of the major stakeholders? I have a few thoughts which may not be in the order of relevance but largely my chain of theories,” he further mentioned.

I sometimes feel that India-Pakistan rivalry has become an industry: Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir also noted that the population of the two Asian nations is way bigger than that of Australia and New Zealand’s.

Gambhir also accepted the fact that jingoism comes foremost during the India-Pakistan matches and called the contest an industry in itself.

“I sometimes feel that India-Pakistan rivalry has become an industry in itself, which keeps many other verticals warm. No one seems to be in a hurry to reduce the jingoism volume on this one as it generates revenue,” Gambhir mentioned.

Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, India, Pakistan, India vs Pakistan
Babar Azam and Virat Kohli. Credits: Twitter

The combined population of Australia and New Zealand is around three crores while here we are catering to 22 crore in Pakistan and approximately 140 crore at home. The database is chalk and cheese. Even if 10 percent of the population of India and Pakistan are engaged, we are talking to five times more the combined number of Australia and New Zealand,” he added.

India lost to Pakistan in their opening match of the T20 World Cup and subsequently could not qualify in the semi-finals stage.

Meanwhile, Pakistan were eliminated by Australia in the second semi-final game by five wickets.

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