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Images: Spirit of Cricket in Mohali

Last updated on: March 30, 2011 16:17 IST

Fans thronged the stadium in numbers

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There is never a dull moment in an India-Pakistan cricket clash and even before the start of their World Cup semi-final, the electrifying atmosphere came alive a bit more when the two countries' Prime Ministers walked into the stadium to greet the players.

The combined enthusiasm of a 30,000-strong crowd at the Punjab Cricket Association ground made for quite a sight during the anthems ceremony before the match.


Image: A fan cheers the Indian team before the match
Photographs: Reuters
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Fans welcome Gilani, Manmoham Singh

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The Pakistani fans sang their lungs out when their anthem was played but the decibel levels went up expectedly higher when the Indian national anthem was played.

Post the ceremony, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani walked into the stadium, escorted by ICC President Sharad Pawar.


Image: An Indian cricket fan cheers at the start of the match
Photographs: Reuters
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Indian PM first to exchange pleasantries

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The two leaders took turns to shake hands with players of both the teams.

First in line was the Pakistan team. Skipper Shahid Afridi took up the role of introducer after enthusiastically shaking hands with Singh.

The Indian Prime Minister was the first to exchange pleasantries with the Pakistan team followed by Gilani.


Image: Captain Shahid Afridi of Pakistan greets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Photographs: Getty Images
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Big cheer for Sachin

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When it came to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men, Gilani was the first to shake hands followed by Singh.

Even in this exchange of pleasantries, Sachin Tendulkar hogged the limelight with the Mohali crowd being at its loudest best when he shook hands with the two leaders.


Image: Pakistan PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan shakes hands with Sachin Tendulkar as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh looks on
Photographs: Getty Images
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Aamir Khan makes his presence felt

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Bollywood can never be left behind when it comes to cricket and who other than the 'Ikka' of the film industry made it to Mohali.

Aamir Khan and wife Kiran Rao were seen applauding in the stands before the start of the high-voltage semi-final.


Image: Actor Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao in the stands
Photographs: Getty Images
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