Indian and Pakistani players might be rivals on the field, but off the field share a strong friendship. One such incident during the 2011 World Cup semi-final showcased their bond. India spinner Harbhajan Singh recalled an incident where he before the match in Mohali, Shoaib Akhtar asked him for a few tickets to the match.
Bhajji helped him with a few tickets. But later Akhtar asked for the tickets for Wankhede as well. That prompted Bhajii to tell the Pakistani, that it is India that would reach the final and not Pakistan.
“In 2011 World Cup, I met Shoaib Akhtar before the semifinal match he asked me tickets for the semi-final between India and Pakistan. So I somehow arranged a some 4 tickets for him.,” Harbhajan Singh said on Sports Today.
“Then he asked me for the final tickets too. I said ‘what will you do with this?’ ‘India will play the final and if you want to come and watch I will give you 2-4 tickets to come watch the game,” Harbhajan recalled.
‘But he [Akhtar] didn’t play the semi-final, and we won.”
Meanwhile, as the Indian cricket fans celebrated a decade of India’s World Cup win, one man was conspicuous by the absence and now he too has joined in the celebrations. Yes, we are talking about Gary Kirsten. The man who made it possible. Commemorating the day, he tweeted:
“It’s been 10yrs since Team India won the @icc CWC. Most definitely one of my career highlights. I’m so proud to see how the team has grown from that day & how the players have developed since. Thank you @incredibleindia for all the wonderful memories.”