Don`t term Indo-Pak match as war, warns Intikhab Alam

Updated: Mar 26, 2011, 19:21 PM IST

Mohali: Pakistan manager Intikhab Alam is wary of the tremendous hype surrounding the semi-final clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan and has advised the media from terming it as "war" instead of a normal cricket match.

"Let it remain as cricket and don`t make us feel as if we are standing on a warfront," said Alam.

The former Pakistan captain, who was also the coach of the side that won the 1992 World Cup, is frankly not amused with the kind of hype that has been generated as it puts unbearable pressure on the players.

"Iskee kya zarurat hein (what is the need of so much hype)."

"We don`t want to pressurize (put pressure on) our players. This is needless," the former skipper, who has also coached the Punjab team in Ranji Trophy said.

He also said that one of the teams has to lose, but the losers should be graceful in defeat.

"In both the countries, there are very emotional people. Both teams cannot win and somebody has to lose. But whichever team loses should lose gracefully. We have to give that positive message," he said indicating that cricket should emerge as a winner in the end.

For Intikhab, it`s a special occasion that they are again playing a match as big as World Cup semi-final on Indian soil.

"This is a blessing that we have come here to play cricket in India. This of course, is a special occasion, but I feel we should be playing more often," he said.

Cricketing ties between the two countries were suspended in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to join him in watching the match here.

PTI