When India and Pakistan played Holi without Imran Khan
More’s mind harked back to the time when the players from both teams, except Pakistan’s captain Imran Khan, got together ahead of the final match in Bangalore and “painted the hotel red.”Updated: Jul 06, 2020 23:46 IST
Former India wicketkeeper and chairman of selectors Kiran More recalled the time cricketers of India and Pakistan celebrated the festival of Holi together. More, who was part of some famous India-Pakistan battles in the 1980s, revealed that no matter how intense matches got on the field, the off-field camaraderie between the players remains entirely contrasting.
Pakistan toured India in 1986-87 for five Tests and six ODIs, and after the first four Tests ended in a draw, More’s mind harked back to the time when the players from both teams, except Pakistan’s captain Imran Khan, got together ahead of the final match in Bangalore and “painted the hotel red.”
“We were really fighting hard for that whole series, but in that Test match, I’ll never forget that Holi we played on the rest day, with the Indian team and the Pakistani team,” More said on The Greatest Rivalry Podcast.
“[It was] at Bangalore’s Westin hotel, I still remember. The whole hotel was painted red. The swimming pool, all the rooms, every corner of the hotel was painted red. And we had a great time. We [both] Pakistani cricketers and Indian cricketers, we were trying to get Imran Khan out of his room. He was the captain, and he was a shy character. We were trying to get into his room from both sides, and trying to put colour on him.”
More further revealed how Javed Miandad kept the party going even after the Holi celebrations were done with. A day before the final Test, players of both teams had a ball, but despite repeated efforts, were unable to get a shy Imran out of his hotel room.
“He didn’t come out. Javed [Miandad] was instrumental in that Holi time, the whole day, we did Holi together, we had lunch together. Had bhangra music, there were a few friends of ours who joined that party. We had a great time, and next day, we were playing a Test match again,” More added.
“On the field, both teams wanted to win, and sledging was huge that time from both sides. Off the field, it was a great time that we had. I’ll never forget that Holi.”