Gambhir unimpressed with camaraderie between Pakistan, India cricketers

Players shared some light-hearted moments during the Asia Cup 2023 clash on Saturday

By Web Desk
September 03, 2023
Gautam Gambhir is a former Indian cricketer. — AFP 

Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir was left unimpressed with the camaraderie between Pakistan and India’s cricketers during the Asia Cup 2023 clash between the two sides on Saturday in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Players shared some light-hearted moments during the match, which didn’t go down well with Gambhir.

"When you play on the field for your national team, you must leave the friendship outside the boundary ropes. It is important to have a game face. The friendship can remain outside during the match. There has to be 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 on Star Sports.

"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,” he added.

He also recalled sledging Pakistan and Australia’s players during his playing days.

"(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.

The highly-anticipated Asia Cup match between Pakistan and India was abandoned due to rain.

Pakistan didn't get a chance to bat as persistent rain thwarted their chances of chasing down India's target of 267 runs.

The washout also means that Pakistan qualified for the Super 4 stage of the tournament.

The arch-rivals will meet once again on September 10 in the Super Four stage should India win their final group game against Nepal on September 4.

Earlier, India were dismissed for 266 after winning the toss and deciding to bat first against Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya scored fifties and brought their side back in the game after India had slipped to 66-4 inside 15 overs.

Pandya (87 off 90) and Kishan (82 off 81) added 138 runs in 141 balls for the fifth wicket.

Pacer Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan with figures of 4-35 in 10 overs. He claimed the prized scalps of Pandya, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja.

Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah claimed three wickets each for Pakistan.

The Asia Cup 2023 will be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka between August 30 and September 17.