'I remember when India came to Pakistan in 2004. Our A team had actually beaten them': Ex-PAK captain makes huge remark
The former Pakistan captain made a massive remark as he recalled India's tour of Pakistan in 2004.
In present-day cricket, the matches between India and Pakistan cricket teams are confined to continental (Asia Cup) and global (ICC) tournaments, owing to political tensions between both nations. The last bilateral series between the two sides took place in 2012/13 when Pakistan had toured India for three ODIs and as many T20Is. However, even as the two countries haven't engaged in bilateral cricket matches since then, the rivals share a rich history on the cricket field.
In 2004, India had toured Pakistan in a historic bilateral tour, that included five ODIs and three Tests. This was the first bilateral series between the two sides since the Kargil conflict in 1999; however, India and Pakistan did lock horns in the 2003 World Cup before, and other multi-team events as well. While India secured a 3-2 win in the ODI series against Pakistan, the Sourav Ganguly-led side sealed the Test series 2-1. However, the visitors faced a huge shock in their first game of the tour against Pakistan ‘A’.
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In a high-scoring game, India put a huge score of 335/6 in fifty overs after being invited to bat first by Taufeeq Umar; in reply, Pakistan 'A' chased down the target with six wickets and 24 balls to spare. Umar smashed 104, while Imran Nazir scored 65 off just 32 deliveries as the Pakistan 'A' batters smashed the Indian bowlers all around the park at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt recalled the game as he compared Pakistan's bench strength from 2004 with the current situation in the country's domestic cricket.
“I remember India came to Pakistan in 2004. They played against Pakistan 'A' in a warm-up match. And Pakistan 'A' had actually beaten the Indian team. Imran Nazir scored good runs, the match took place at the Gaddafi Stadium. It was a high-scoring game. Do you have a setup to prepare a team like that now?” Butt said on his official YouTube channel.
“It used to be there. I have gone to South Africa with the 'A' teams. Even U19 tours used to take place. Now there are none. Who is to blame? What have you brought to the system? There's a lot to answer, but no one wants to answer," Butt said.
Pakistan are currently taking part in a tri-series with New Zealand and Bangladesh. The Babar Azam-led side will begin its campaign at the T20 World Cup against India on October 23.