One of the most memorable moments that capture the intensity of Indo-Pak rivalry is the famous Venkatesh Prasad’s dismissal of Pakistan’s opening batsman Aamer Sohail in the 1996 World Cup. After smashing a cracking four towards sweeper cover, Sohail pointed his bat in the direction of the boundary and indicated to Prasad that the next bowl would travel in the similar region.
However, what transpired was an absolute brain fade moment for the then vice-captain of Pakistan. Prasad came round the stumps and delivered a good length ball which nipped back in, and Sohail missed it completely as the white leather shattered the timber.
Pakistan were in a strong position until Prasad got the better of Sohail, which helped hosts bounce back in the high-voltage clash. Years after the popular episode, Sohail has revealed that nothing was exchanged between him and Prasad as the incident was ‘interpreted’ in a different way.
“There was no argument. There was nothing said. It was interpreted differently. They have to say something. There was no verbal exchange,” said Sohail in Cricket Life Stories on YouTube.
Sohail said the situation was pretty tensed, and Javed Miandad advised him to do something to put Prasad’s focus away.
“The situation was such that Javed Miandad, being an extremely smart cricketer, he told us how to rile up the bowler when you think he is going to take charge. How to move him away from his focus, or his aims, or whatever he is thinking,” added the 54-year-old.
Speaking about the contest, India, after batting first, posted a challenging total of 287/8 in their allotted 50 overs, thanks to Navjot Singh Sidhu, who scored a scintillating 93.
In response, Sohail scored a quick-fire 55 before Prasad cleaned him up. The right-armer didn’t just stop there as he dismissed Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq to complete his three-wicket haul in the match as Pakistan could only reach 248/9, losing the game by 39 runs.