- Pakistan and India’s match in the Asia Cup 2023 was called off due to rain.
- Pakistan has advanced to the Super 4 stage of the tournament.
- Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir criticized the players.
The friendship between the cricketers of Pakistan and India during their match for the Asia Cup 2023 on Saturday in Kandy, Sri Lanka, did not impress former cricketer Gautam Gambhir.
During the game, players engaged in some lighthearted banter, which Gambhir found offensive.
“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.
During his playing days, he also remembered making fun of Australia and Pakistan’s players.
“(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 encounter between Pakistan and India was called off due to rain, denying Pakistan the opportunity to chase India’s target of 267 runs. Consequently, Pakistan has advanced to the Super 4 stage of the tournament.
If India secures victory in their final group match against Nepal on September 4, the arch-rivals will face each other again on September 10 during the Super Four stage.
In the earlier innings, India, opting to bat after winning the toss, were dismissed for 266 runs. Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya played vital roles in rescuing India from a difficult situation when they were at 66-4 within the first 15 overs. Pandya (87 off 90) and Kishan (82 off 81) formed a crucial partnership, contributing 138 runs in 141 balls for the fifth wicket.
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi excelled as the top bowler, with figures of 4-35 in 10 overs, claiming important wickets including Pandya, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja. Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah also secured three wickets each for Pakistan.
The Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled to be hosted in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 30 to September 17, with matches taking place in both countries. Pakistan is placed in Group A with Nepal and India, while Group B consists of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2023.
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