'Dosti bahaar rehni chahiye': Gambhir fumes, delivers bombastic take on IND, PAK players' friendly chat during Asia Cup
As the likes of Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan were spotted sharing a laughter during Asia Cup match, Gambhir was left furious as the scene
There is always a vast amount of content that forms the build-up to a high-octane and blockbuster clash between India and Pakistan. And why not? There is so much history and drama in this rivalry which most, if not all, hails it as the greatest contest ever between two cricketing teams, higher than even the historic Ashes series. There are talks about past matches, banters between players, fiery contests won between two legends, but among them, there are also heartwarming stories of the bond and the respect the players share for each other. And it remains even as the players only meet during multi-nation events.
It happened last year as well and on the eve of the clash in Kandy on Saturday when PCB released a video of the players from both nation enjoying a friendly chat on the sidelines of their practice for the big games. Later on the matchday, when rain had interrupted the proceedings thrice, the likes of Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan were spotted sharing a laughter in the pavilion as they waited for the match to resume.
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir was however left furious as the scenes during his conversation with Star Sports and admitted that the camaraderie among the players left him baffled.
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"When you play on the field for your national team, you must leave the friendship outside the boundary ropes. Game face hona zaroori hai. Dosti bahaar rehni chahiye. (It is important to have a game face. The friendship can remain outside during the match). There has to be an aggression in the eyes of both sets of players. You can be as friendly as you want after those six or seven hours of cricket," Gambhir said.
"Those hours are very important, because you're not just representing yourself, you're representing a nation of over a billion. These days you see players of rival teams patting each other on the back and exchanging fist bumps during a match. You would never see that a few years ago. Aap friendly match hi khel rahe ho,” he added.
The veteran India opener in fact said that it is acceptable if the players sledge each other, or engage in a banter while warning them to not get personal over it.
"(You can) sledge, but don't get personal. You have to stay within your limits. Don't involve someone's family member or get too personal. Banter is fine. In games against Australia and Pakistan, there used to be banter," he said.
Rain did not allow any action in the second innings after India were folded for 266 runs in 48.5 overs. The match was eventually called off as the two teams shared a point each. Pakistan hence made the Super Four while India will next face Nepal on Monday to know their fate.