There is no doubt that the India–Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most hot-blooded sports rivalries in the world. No wonder, this competitiveness has also produced some of the most memorable battles in cricket. The skirmish between Pakistani bowlers and Indian batsmen is something fans are mostly fond of, especially in the ’90s when the two countries faced each other a lot at Sharjah.
One such instance took place between former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail and veteran India batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu in the 1996 Pepsi Cup. Numerous reports at the time claimed that Sidhu had threatened to beat Sohail with his bat after losing his cool. However, various versions of the story have reported other things as well.
Speaking about the same, Sohail has recalled the infamous episode and elucidated what actually happened in that game. On his YouTube channel, Sohail revealed that Sidhu was unhappy with speedster Waqar Younis’ sledging in the game and had asked Sohail to advise his bowler not to hurl abuses.
“The incident took place when I was captaining Pakistan in 1996 in a match at Sharjah against India. Sidhu paaji was batting somewhere in the 90s,” said Sohail.
“In the middle of an over, he came to me angrily and said ‘Aamir paaji, teach your fast bowler. He is doing this wrong’, so I asked him ‘paaji, what happened’. So, he said ‘he’s throwing abuses at me’. So I told him ‘paaji, ignore him,” the 53-year-old added.
“He’s a fast bowler; they have a habit of talking’. So he said, ‘no, no, say whatever you want but don’t give abuses’. So I said ‘okay paaji, I will tell him after the game, you go on and play’. That’s all that happened, and I don’t know what he is thinking and bringing up this incident. This is the truth,” concluded Sohail.
In the match, Sachin Tendulkar (118) and Sidhu (101) had built a 231-run partnership for the second wicket to take the game away from Pakistan. The duo guided India to post a humongous total of 305 runs on the board. In response, Pakistan were bundled out for 277 and lost the match by 28 runs.