Shahid Afridi of Pakistan and Virender Sehwag of India came together at the Oberoi Hotel for a talk show on 102.4 FM where they shared some fascinating tales from their cricketing days.
Sehwag talked about his first clash with Pakistan team featuring Afridi in it. “Everyone in our team had talked about Afridi before my first series against Pakistan. As a player, he was like our Tendulkar in the Pakistan team and we all discussed him.”
Afridi said he always enjoyed watching Sehwag bat because his batting approach is similar to him. “Sehwag made his debut against us and I remember the match as he got out quickly. After that, I always enjoyed watching him because I love anyone who is aggressive and it was special to see an opener attacking bowlers. Until then I had never seen any opener do it.”
India and Pakistan have avoided playing each other in past because of political tensions. They have only clashed in ICC tournaments. '
Afridi believes it is important to play cricket with each other which can unite the two cricket crazy countries. “For India and Pakistan relationship, sporting ties between the two countries are important, especially the cricket series because people are crazy for cricket. I am confident the series will resume soon.”
The former Pakistan all-rounder rated his innings in Kanpur as his favorite. He had scored 102 runs in just 46 balls against India. The innings had 10 boundaries and nine sixes.
“Yes my Kanpur century was a top inning. It is the best in my memory,” said Afridi, after Sehwag reminded him of the knock.
Sehwag also spoke on the cricketing tie between the two neighbor countries. “Every Indian and Pakistani want to see an India-Pakistan series. We as cricketers too want to watch it. Hopefully, the governments of both countries will talk and resume the series. I have many lovely memories like my triple century in the Multan Test match double century in Lahore Test and my century in Kochi ODI match," he said.
They both revealed that during every India-Pakistan series all the players enjoyed being with each other. “We all talked a lot and we ate together. It eased the pressure on every one of us,” said Sehwag. Afridi narrated an instance of how he invited the India team to his home while in Pakistan: “I spread out a table full of non-vegetarian dishes only to find that most of the Indian players were vegetarians.”
Sehwag revealed how much every player enjoyed the mutton dishes. “Those were the days when we players did not have to face yo-yo tests to be in the team. So we ate well,” he said.
When Sehwag was asked about him being roasted over supporting T10, he said: “I don’t understand what is wrong in me supporting T10. There is a place for everything in cricket. Now Test cricket is happening in India, many T20 leagues are happening around the world. What they do not understand is T10 is an event which can be used for Olympics too. Maybe, one day ICC may take the T10 format to the Olympic Committee.”