Updated: April 17, 2020 5:44:36 pm
Shoaib Akhtar turned back the pages back to the 2003 World Cup, recollecting how a Sachin Tendulkar masterclass drowned Pakistan in Centurion, and how it is fondly remembered by the fans.
Chasing a stiff 274 with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar in the opposite ranks, Tendulkar scored a blistering 98 from 75 deliveries, helping India win a thrilling contest at the quadrennial event. The right-hand batsman’s innings comprised of seven boundaries and just one maximum, but that hit to Akhtar over the third-man region is still hailed as one of the iconic shots in cricketing history.
Expressing his thoughts on the contest, Akhtar said that Indians still relish the famous six struck by Tendulkar, adding if he had been aware of the fact, then he would have conceded a six every day.
“Sachin has been a very, very close friend of mine, he’s a tremendous guy, very humble. He’s been the greatest batsman, but I might have dismissed him 12-13 times in matches,” Akhtar said in an interaction with Zainab Abbas on an Instagram live.
“He hit me for a six in Centurion, which makes India very happy. They keep showing the same six. If I knew that one six can make 1.3 billion Indians so happy, I would have conceded a six every day,” he added.
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India have maintained their supremacy over the neighbours in World Cup in both T20Is and ODIs. The Men in Blue have triumphed in all seven of their ODI World Cup meetings so far.
Akhtar also mentioned that he shared good relations with his Indian counterparts, adding Tendulkar, current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, and Yuvraj Singh to the list.
He also claimed that, apart from Pakistan, he has been loved tremendously from neighbouring fans in India and Bangladesh.
The Rawalpindi Express had recently proposed a three-match ODI series between both the countries to generate funds for the coronavirus pandemic, but was opposed by India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev.
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