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Expats in UAE gear up for India-Pakistan WC match

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Dubai, June 15 (IANS) Indian expats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are gearing up for the World Cup clash between India and Pakistan in Manchester on Sunday, with some hoping that the match doesn’t get washed away by the rain, the media reported on Saturday.

Although the match is scheduled on Sunday, the first working day of the week (in the UAE), it has not stopped the expats from making elaborate plans with their family and friends to enjoy the game to witness India’s third match in this World Cup, the Khaleej Times reported.

Dubai resident, Husain Mohammed Bhatri, 66, who hails from Mumbai, said the only plan and hope is that the game doesn’t get washed out by rains.

"For me, cricket is serious business and more so when it is India-Pakistan match. I watch it so seriously and attentively that I refuse to move from in front of my TV set."

Husain, who will be going to Lords for the finals on July 14, said: "Although both India and Pakistan don’t allow each other to play on their country grounds due to political upheaval, I wish they start playing more often on UAE grounds."

For Savvy Kisani, who is from Bengaluru, cricket matches are a great occasion to spend with friends.

"India-Pakistan match is a fun event for our family and we invite loads of friends over to watch it with us. This time, I am making a lot of food, kept some turbans and Indian dhol, and also organised face-painting for children. India-pakistan match is a big occasion for us to party because of all the excitement it garners. It does not matter if we win or lose," Kisani told the Khaleej Times.

Santhosh Varghese, Vice-President at a private firm, is an ardent cricket fan and said he was eagerly waiting for the match for many months now.

"As always India-Pakistan matches create a natural excitement and a must-win mindset. Everything comes to a standstill for me and the match takes priority over anything else."

The World Cup match between India and Pakistan is scheduled to take place at Old Trafford.

The two teams will be meeting for the seventh time in a World Cup on Sunday. On all the six previous occasions, the Men in Blue have turned victorious.