Imran wants to see Pakistan v India semi-final

KARACHI, (Reuters) – Imran Khan will be supporting  India against Australia in their World Cup showdown Thursday  because he believes a semi-final against Pakistan will capture  the sporting world’s imagination.
The winner of Thursday’s quarter-final will face Pakistan in  Mohali on March 30.
“I want India and Pakistan to play the semi-final. Because  it would be a great advertisement for cricket and I think it  will go in our favour,” former Pakistan captain Imran told Geo  Super channel after Pakistan beat the West Indies by 10 wickets  on Wednesday.

Imran Khan
Imran Khan

“Our team remain the under-dogs, India have been rated as  favourites from the start. And I think the pressure of playing  in front of their home crowd and the fear of losing to us would  add that much extra pressure on the Indians and benefit our  team.”
Wednesday’s victory sealed Pakistan’s first appearance in  the semi-finals of the showpiece event since 1999 and sparked  jubilant celebrations in the country with heavy aerial firing   while fans poured out on to the streets to dance and sing  together.
“I think the Pakistani nation deserves something to  celebrate because of the problems we have faced as a nation for  so many years. Winning the World Cup would be a great gift for  our people,” Imran said.
Unable to play international matches at home, tainted by a  spot-fixing scandal that robbed them of the services of Salman  Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, add in the confusion over  team and captain selections — Pakistan cricket was in disarray  before the World Cup.
But Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Ijaz Butt said Shahid  Afridi’s men had helped to heal the wounds of the nation.
“The way the team has performed it has shown great character  and I pray they go on to win the World Cup because if would be  fantastic for Pakistan cricket and help in restoring  international cricket in the country,” Butt noted.

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