Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Kohli and Co. Add to Legend of Old Trafford

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Kohli and Co. Add to Legend of Old Trafford

Article excerpt

OLD Trafford has been host to some spectacular sporting moments in its long history.

From Jim Laker's 19 wickets in a Test, Ian Botham's stunning Ashes knock in 1981, the fact 20,000 fans were locked out on the final day of the 2005 Test against the Aussies and, of course, Shane Warne's ball of the century.

And there are plenty more, which is why the home of Lancashire is famed around the world.

But rarely has this old stadium witnessed the passion on display from the 26,000 lucky souls who managed to get a ticket out of the 800,000 who applied to see India take on Pakistan in the World Cup.

If you thought the Roses battles are intense, this is on another level as the two nations - who not so long ago looked likely to be at war with each other - took their battle to the cricket field.

Because of the political situation, they rarely meet now, so when they do, it is quite a spectacle.

Along with the fans in the stadium - one of whom had arrived on the back of a white horse leading a bus full of Pakistan fans to the ground - hundreds more watched on a big screen in the city centre.

The fact India dominated - to ensure they maintained their record of never losing to Pakistan in a World Cup - and that rain interrupted play several times, failed to dampen what was a stunning occasion.

It is worth remembering that in 2006, this famous old ground seemed destined never to host another international match, such was its deterioration.

But days like this make all the blood, sweat and tears of plenty of Lancashire staff just to keep the club afloat as they embarked on a £61m redevelopment of the ground well worth it.

And there will be plenty who had a hand in that amazing transformation who could sit back yesterday and feel pleased with their work as the eyes of more than a billion people around the world watched in awe at what they had created. …

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