Ahmedabad: Ishant Sharma and Kamran Akmal had been ready to go at each other’s throat, in Bangalore on Tuesday night, but there was much bonhomie between the teams on Wednesday afternoon.
That’s how it should be.
In fact, soon after India and Pakistan checked-in at the Courtyard by Marriott, one saw Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad lunch together and often break into laughter.
Expectedly, Yuvraj was the most mast.
Ishant, Kamran fined for spat during Bangalore Twenty20
Away at another table was a rather subdued Ishant, chastened no doubt by the fine slapped on him by Match Referee Roshan Mahanama. Keeping him company were Gautam Gambhir and Parvinder Awana.
Kamran, also booked, wasn’t to be seen.
Later, in an informal chat, Shoaib (a former captain) told The Telegraph: “Jo field mein hua, woh field mein tha... We’re friends, there are no issues... Things happen in the heat of the moment.”
Umar, Kamran’s younger brother, said: “Mujhe maloom nahin bhai ke saath kya hua... Hum sab dost hain.”
Shoaib was a hero for Pakistan at the Chinnaswamy.
When informed that the iconic Kapil Dev had singled him out as the most dangerous for India, Shoaib smiled and replied: “It’s nice to hear that, but I’m getting old (he’s 30 only)... One has to perform and I did just that.”
Shoaib revealed that wife Sania Mirza was in Bangalore, but didn’t go to the Chinnaswamy. “She’ll soon be off to Australia and there are no plans for her to come to any of the remaining matches either.”
The cross-border marriage may have caused a ‘problem’ over loyalty in the Malik household, but Shoaib is delighted that bilateral cricket ties have resumed.