Pakistani Team Sledged Sachin, Jadeja And Sidhu But Not Azharuddin, Reveals Former Pak Cricketer Basit Ali

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 25, 2023 04:58 PM +05:30 IST
Pakistani Team Sledged Sachin, Jadeja And Sidhu But Not Azharuddin, Reveals Former Pak Cricketer Basit AliFormer Indian cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin

Former Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali recently revealed some intriguing insights into the Pakistani dressing room during his playing days.

In an interview with former Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin on his YouTube channel, Basit stated that before every match with India, he was given the responsibility to sledge Indian players including Sachin Tendulkar, Ajay Jadeja, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and Vinod Kambli.

However, Ali, who played 19 Tests and 50 ODIs for Pakistan, also revealed an interesting detail that Pakistani players never sledged Mohammed Azharuddin.

"Before every India match, I was given the responsibility to sledge the Indian players. I was told to disturb Sachin (Tendulkar), Jadeja (Ajay), Sidhu (Navjot), Kambli (Vinod), but the moment Azhar bhai’s name used to come, the entire team unanimously said no [one] would disturb Azhar bhai," said Basit, reports News18.

He further added, "I don’t have words to describe the amount of respect we used to have for Azhar bhai in our dressing room...Be it Wasim (Akram) bhai, Salim Malik, Rashid Latif, Inzmam-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis, they would no dare to sledge Azhar bhai. I don’t think any Pakistan player ever insulted Azhar bhai."

This revelation comes amidst accusations of Pakistani cricketers mixing religion and sports both on and off the field.

In the past, there have been instances where Pakistani cricketers have used religious terminology in matches against India.

During T20 World Cup in 2021, former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis had caused a stir when he said that the moment of the India-Pakistan match in Dubai for him was Mohammed Rizwan offering namaz on the ground in front of Hindus.

Under intense criticism, including from former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad who hit out at this mindset calling it disgusting and Jihadi, the Younis later apologised.

Ambassador G Parthasarathy, India’s former high commissioner to Pakistan, has reporetdly quoted a 1982 incident about Imran Khan, former Pakistan cricket captain and ex-prime minister of the Islamic nation.

Imran Khan was quoted as saying he saw India-Pakistan cricket matches not as a game but as Jihad for Kashmir. This statement had also caused quite a stir.

In 1978, when India-Pakistan cricketing ties resumed after a gap of almost two decades, Team India travelled to Pakistan for a Test series.

Mushtaq Mohammed, the then Pakistan cricket team captain, after Pakistan’s victory in the test series, went on record to say the win was “victory of Muslims all over the world over Hindus.’’

A cricket match between India and Pakistan is anything but sports for the Pakistani players.

Madan Lal, a member of the 1983 world cup winning Indian team, had told India Today's Gaurav Sawant that a part of the problem behind the Pakistani players' mindset was the lack of education in Pakistan.

“Most of the Pakistani cricket players are uneducated, and this reflects not just in their conversations but also their statements," Lal was quoted as saying.

Further, Pakistani players have also boasted about trying to convert foreign players during test matches.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, former Pakistan cricket captain, boasted on camera about former Pakistan batsman Mohammed Yusuf (who himself converted from Christianity to Islam and became Mohd Yusuf from Yousuf Youhana) trying to convert Brian Lara to Islam during the Karachi Test match after inviting him for a meal.

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