Ashish Nehra recalls when Shoaib Akhtar sledged him in Punjabi during Champions Trophy
With the conditions not feasible for India vs Pakistan bilateral cricket to take place, fans really cherish such moments between former cricketers.
Updated - Aug 23, 2020 8:38 pm
Ashish Nehra is a former Indian cricketer and one of the best pacers the country has ever produced. The Delhi-born cricketer is famously called as ‘Nehraji’ by him colleagues and fans. He was a left-arm medium-fast bowler who batted right handed. He was also a part of the Indian team that won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.
The left-arm bowler recently narrated a funny incident involving former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar. The incident goes back to one of the rare times when Pakistan outplayed their neighbours in an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament. The India-Pakistan rivalry is also known for the sledging involved in it. People certainly miss some great moments shared by the players of both sides.
Ashish Nehra opens up about his banter with Shoaib Akhtar
“In 2004 we were playing Champions Trophy game in Birmingham. India batted first and we scored some 200 runs,” Nehra said on Wisden’s Greatest Rivalry podcast. India had been sent in to bat first after Pakistan won the toss. After losing the top order early, a good inning by Rahul Dravid and Ajit Agarkar insured the team reached 200.
“We lost that game in the end. I was the last guy out and Shoaib Akhtar bowled one short ball. I tried to pull it and got out caught at mid-wicket. Shahid Afridi took the catch and then he’s telling me in Punjabi ‘before you pull, you should know who you’re facing,” added the left-armer. The Rawalpindi Express who was one of the greatest bowlers of his time, never a missed a chance to mess with his opponents.
“Shoaib Akhtar is a great friend, no doubt about it. Whenever we’re in England and even till today. After 3-4 months, we message each other and a banter is going on,” Nehra concluded. While India and Pakistan may not be on good terms now, it does not stop the old players from maintaining their friendships.
With the conditions not feasible for India vs Pakistan bilateral cricket to take place, fans really cherish such moments between former cricketers. As cricket fans, people just want to see good quality cricket and good banter between the players. Political rivalry is not something the fans want to get into.