While the bilateral relation between India and Pakistan have never been quite promising, the cricketers from both the sides of the border have managed to keep a cordial relationship among them. The way the Indian and Pakistan players interacted after the final of the 2017 Champions was a testament of that. However, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has revealed an incident that it is the not always the case between the players.
Just a couple of days before India and Pakistan take on each other in World Cup, Harbhajan Singh has revealed how he and former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf were ready to fight with forks in hand. He recalled the incident that took place way back in 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
“It started with a joke but then got ugly. I was dropped for that game and Anil Bhai (Kumble) was playing because team management felt he was a better choice keeping in mind his good record against Pakistan. I was a bit down and it can happen when you aren’t in the XI,” recalled Harbhajan Singh.
“During the lunch time, I was sitting at one table and Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar were at the other table right across in the common area,” he added.
He further revealed how Yousuf’s comments on religion made things ugly.
“We both speak Punjabi and suddenly while we were pulling each other’s legs he first made a personal comment and then remarked about my religion,” said Harbhajan.
“I gave him a fitting reply. Before anyone realized we both had fork in our hands and got up from our chairs ready to attack each other,” added the legendary spinner.
The off-spinner said that senior players from both the sides intervened at right time and not only stopped the fight but also scolded them.
“Rahul (Dravid) and Sri (Javagal Srinath) stopped me while Wasim Bhai and Saeed Bhai took Yousuf away. The seniors in both sides were irritated and we were told that this is not the right behavior. It’s 16 years now. Now when I meet Yousuf, we both have a good laugh about it,” Harbhajan said.
India and Pakistan, meanwhile, will lock horns in the World Cup for the seventh time. India have won all the previous six meetings and are looking favourites to extend the winning run. The Men in Blue are still unbeaten in the ongoing World Cup in three games while Pakistan have lost two of their first four games. Another loss against India could very well end Pakistan’s journey in the World Cup at the league stage itself.