New Delhi: The India versus Pakistan ICC World T20 match in Kolkata on March 19 will have several side shows that will include celebrities from all walks of life. Adding to the glitter and glamour will be Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who will sing the national anthem before the start of the day-night group B contest.
Bachchan will have ‘competition’. Celebrated singer Shafaqat Amanat Ali will sing the national anthem of Pakistan. India have never lost a World Cup match against Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan have won the ICC World T20 once each.
India and Pakistan have played against each other only in international events. India have refused to resume bilateral cricket with their arch-rivals and the March 19 match has thus gained a lot of importance. India last beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup last month in Mirpur (Bangladesh).
Bachchan is a well-known sports fan. He has sang the national anthem at several events, the pro-kabaddi league in July 2015 being among them in recent times. Big B’s son Abhishek Bachchan owns a kabaddi team, Pink Panthers. The 73-year-old Big B had sung the national anthem for a special music video to mark Republic Day last year.
Cricket Association of Bengal, the hosts of the March 19 blockbuster between India and Pakistan, will also felicitate former cricket stars like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar.
Bachchan Senior and Amanat Ali will of course set up the two teams just perfectly for the on-pitch battle.