‘Dosti Bahar Rehni Chahiye’: Gautam Gambhir On India-Pakistan Players’ Camaraderie

India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match at Sri Lanka’s Pallekel International Stadium on Saturday failed to produce any result as the match got abandoned due to rain and both teams shared a point each. Pakistan, with three points, became the first team to qualify for Super 4 stage of Asia Cup 2023. On the other hand, India, with 1 point in their kitty, now have to beat debutant Nepal in their next Asia Cup 2023 match on September 4 to make it to the next round. As downpour came heavy in Kandy, players of both teams were seen engaging in a friendly interaction with each other. While such friendly exchanges are common between cricketers of different teams, 2011 World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir feels players should avoid such camaraderie during cricket matches.

In a chat on Star Sports, Gambhir, a cricketer-turned-commentator, said that team India shouldn’t be displaying acts of friendship inside the stadium. 

“When you play on the field for your national team, you must leave the friendship outside the boundary ropes. Game face hona zaroori hai. Dosti bahaar rehni chahiye. There has to be an 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. Those hours are very important, because you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing a nation of over a billion,” Gambhir said during the mid-game show on Star Sports.

“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. Aap friendly match hi khel rahe ho.”

The former India opener cited example of his friendship with ex-Pakistan player Kamran Akmal.

“We’re very good friends. In fact, I gave him a bat and he gave me a bat too. I played one whole season with a bat Kamran had given me. We spoke for an hour recently,” Gambhir added.

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