The age-old rivalry between India and Pakistan produces the magic in their cricketing encounters. The high-octane clashes between the two neighbouring countries have been some of the best cricket lovers have witnessed thus far.
Inspite of the contests turning out to be heated occasionally, the off-field relations between players have always been amicable. And so it has for legends such as Yuvraj Singh and Shoaib Malik.
Team India always has had the better of their arch-rivals during World Cup games. In fact, they remain unbeaten against Pakistan in ICC events.
However, the story is different when it comes to the Champions Trophy, where the ‘Men in Green’ have dominated the blues.
Pakistan defeated India in the ICC Champions Trophy of 2004, 2009 and then their title-winning encounter 2017.
The 2017 Champions Trophy final win went on to show the unpredictability with the Pakistan cricket team, which came out triumphant starting as underdogs.
Therefore, the win holds a special place for veteran Malik who has been a part of all the three Champions Trophy wins against India.
“In terms of winning that tournament in 2017, yes it was a great feeling to win another ICC Trophy, but I have another memory that is very special to me,” Malik told PakPassion.net.
Even after losing the all-important finals, despite winning the group encounter in the tournament, the Indian team were seen in jovial spirit with Malik and Co.
“I remember after the final at The Oval against India sitting in the dining hall talking to Yuvraj Singh. We were just chatting and he said, ‘Your team-mates are celebrating, don’t miss out on this special moment, you should be celebrating with them.’ It is just a small example of how cricket generates very good friendships no matter where we come from.” Malik added
“Yes, we do battle on the field, and we try our best to win for our country, but off the field, we can still be friends,” said Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza’s spouse.
Unfortunately, the cricketing world is currently devoid of one of its keenly fought rivalries along with the same bracket as the Ashes.
Since 2012, Indo-Pak cricket duels have been only limited to ICC events, and multilateral series on neutral grounds basis.
“I think the world badly needs this rivalry to resume, in the same way that world cricket needs the Ashes. Could England and Australia imagine Test cricket without an Ashes series? Both series are played with the same kind of passion and have such a great history, so it is a shame that we don’t play right now,” Malik concluded.