NEW DELHI — The event will be watched by hundreds of millions around the world, on televisions in remote villages, jumbo screens in crowded cities, phones in migrant labor tenements and flickering monitors in the living rooms of a diaspora spread across the world’s time zones.

Face-offs on the cricket field between India and Pakistan, like the expected encounter on Sunday in Dubai, have become increasingly rare, a victim of the frosty relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. For a match to take place at all, even on neutral ground, players and fans have to hope tensions remain short of war and that the organizers can weather growing calls for a boycott.

The meeting on Sunday, the first in two years, comes as part of a World Cup. The rising tensions are tied to a number of factors — repeated militant attacks in India; the disputed territory of Kashmir, where India accuses Pakistan of supporting militant groups; and rising intolerance in both countries — that have almost entirely wiped out any exchange between two nations that otherwise overlap in shared history, passions and culture.

its team is favored to win.


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