'Sunny bhai... they'll hate me in Pakistan': Wasim Akram's explosive revelation about controversial Tendulkar dismissal

Updated on Dec 05, 2022 08:32 AM IST

Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar were caught on opposite sides of one of the most heated moments in the history of the India-Pakistan rivalry.

Tendulkar and Wasim were on either side one of the most heated situations in the history of the India-Pakistan rivalry(Getty/Wasim Akram Instagram)
Tendulkar and Wasim were on either side one of the most heated situations in the history of the India-Pakistan rivalry(Getty/Wasim Akram Instagram)

There is hardly any spectacle in international cricket that quite matches the fervour and ferocity of atmosphere that can be seen during a game between India and Pakistan. While the two sides only meet in international tournaments now, a number of stars have put up career-defining performances in Test matches between the two sides.

The Tests were often high-octane clashes but it also had a number of moments of respect between the two sides. There were also occasions when tensions boiled over and the events around India great Sachin Tendulkar's run out in the the first Test of the 1998/99 Asian Test Championship was one such occasion. Tendulkar had been bowled for a duck off a searing yorker from Shoaib Akhtar in the first innings of the match.

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The dismissal in the second innings was the contentious issue. Tendulkar collided with Shoaib, who was fielding this time with Pakistan captain Wasim Akram bowling, while taking a run and was run out as a result. The crowd at the Eden Gardens was not too impressed by the Pakistan players who appealed for the dismissal and celebrated once it was ruled in their favour. The match had to be stopped as they started pelting stones and hurling abuses at the visitors. Wasim has now revealed in his autobiography 'Sultan: A Memoir' that the match referee and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar had approached him.

“During the break, I was approached by the match referee with Sunil Gavaskar. 'Wasim, we think you should recall Sachin,' said Sunny. People will love you in India. Sunny knew how partisan the Kolkata crowd could be - he had once refused to play a Test there because he had been so badly barracked the previous time,” says Wasim in an excerpt from the book.

“But I had my own fans to worry about. 'Sunny bhai... they might love me in India but they'll hate me in Pakistan,' I said. 'Anyway, it's not my decision. The umpire has given him out. It's too late for me to withdraw the appeal. Play has continue. We all know it's an accident but cricket is full of accidents. It's not up to the captains to rectify.”

Tendulkar had gone for a third run after playing the ball to mid-wicket. Nadeem Khan was the fielder and he managed to get a direct hit. Tendulkar was looking at the ball and had noticed that Shoaib had gotten in the way. The two collided just before Tendulkar reached the crease. Nadeem would later admit that the direct hit was a fluke.

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