India-Pakistan clashes have always been high-voltage affairs, with both teams supercharged and the players eager to deliver, whether it be cricket or hockey or even kabaddi. The long history of war and edge-of-the-seat politics and angry rhetoric often spills on to the field, giving either side’s fans a means to display their love for the country. This has become especially true in the past decade, with the shrill propaganda and the stalled peace efforts giving way to largely jingoistic governments and angry masses.
We recall and recap here five of the famous angry exchanged between Indian and Pakistani players, in famous matches over the last several decades. These exchanges, unusual in modern cricket, are a reminder of the high drama and passion associated with one of the most famed rivalries in cricket, ahead of the much anticipated Champions Trophy opening game between India and Pakistan at Edgbaston, home to one of the largest non-resident populations of Indians and Pakistanis.
MORE VS MIANDAD in 1992
One of the ugliest spats in the history of Indo-Pakistan cricket, It was also one of the funniest and most memorable chapters involving maverick batsman Javed Miandad. Perturbed by the incessant appeals for stumping by the wicketkeeper Kiran More, Miandad exchanged a few words that we would imagine would have been ugly. When the same thing happened after More took the bails off Miandad, he jumped quite like a monkey, up and down to imitate the wicketkeeper. Both the cricketers got away without so much as a warning, and it is still a memorable event for fans.
SOHAIL VS PRASAD in 1996
India gave target of 288 to pakistan in the quarter-final, Anwar and Aamer Sohail gave Pakistan a good start. While Anwar fell for 48, Sohail continued with his aggressive shots and probably paid the price for that. After dispatching the pacer for a boundary, Sohail signalled the now-infamous “go get that”, a certainly bold form of sledging for the times. A furious Prasad clean bowled the Pakistan opener next ball and gave him a similar send-off, remembered by Indian and Pakistani fans till date.
GAMBHIR VS AFRIDI in 2007
Gambhir hit Afridi for a four off his third ball during the 2007 one-dayer between India and Pakistan at Kanpur, which was followed by what can one can only imagine a flurry of curses and swearing between the two. Off for a single on the next ball, Gambhir apparently collided with the Pakistani all-rounder and the matter almost came to blows. Both the famously hot-headed cricketers were fined for the altercation.
GAMBHIR VS KAMRAN AKMAL in 2010
In a match during Asia Cup 2010, an animated appeal by wicket keeper Kamran Akmal apparently angered Gautam Gambhir so much that he found it essential to have a ‘talk’ with him. Akmal fired back in kind and the two clashed in a toe-to-toe altercation, with a flurry of abuses on camera. The umpires had to intervene and warn the players. Captain Cool MS Dhoni, who on the pitch with Gambhir, pulled him away from the fight.
HARBHAJAN VS AKHTAR in 2010
Harbhajan Singh and Shoiab Akhtar were involved in an on-field spat after the Turbanator hit Akhtar for a huge six in an Asia Cup match in 2010. The off spinner would go on to accuse Akhtar of beating him up in a hotel room, along with Yuvraj Singh. Harbhajan though played a crucial innings, winning the match off the final ball with a huge six off Mohammar Aamir.