‘Shahid Afridi was abusing him a lot’: Sehwag recalls India-Pakistan 2003 World Cup match


The Indian cricket team will lock horns against Pakistan in the upcoming Asia Cup on August 28. Both the teams will be facing each other for the first time after the T20 World Cup last year where the Virat Kohli-led India succumbed to a bitter defeat against their arch-rivals.

Matches between the two sides have always been intense and nail-biting and several instances have transpired on the field when players engaged in verbal battles as well. Recalling one such incident during the 2003 World Cup, former India opener Virender Sehwag revealed how master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was targetted by the opposition team.

Tendulkar had played a fantastic knock of 98 off just 75 deliveries smashing Pakistan bowlers all around the park but he had to call Sehwag to run on his behalf due to cramps.

However, with the match delicately poised, Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi kept abusing Tendulkar to distract him.

“I came to run for him during the game because he was having cramps, and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi was abusing him a lot, kept saying something or the other. But he remained focused. He knew it was important for him to stay at the crease. He usually doesn’t take a runner, but still he knew that if I come, I will run like he does. There won’t be any misunderstanding,” Sehwag said in a video posted by Star Sports.

“No matter what series it is (ICC tournament or bilateral), the match between India and Pakistan is always intense. And we will always see fights or incidents taking place between players of both countries. And I remember there was a statement from Shoaib Akhtar that he will absolutely destroy the top order. I didn’t read the statement, and neither did Sachin, but Sachin did respond strongly to it in the first over of our innings. He hit 18 runs in that over,” he added.

Tendulkar, unfortunately, fell just two runs short of what would have been a memorable hundred. Later, Rahul Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) added 99* runs for the 5th wicket to take India home in the 46th over and win the match by 6 wickets.

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