Remember those days, of Venkatesh Prasad and Sachin Tendulkar (on separate occasions) mouthing expletives and showing batsmen Aamir Sohail and Saqlain Mushtaq the way to the dressing room? Remember those days when an India-Pakistan World Cup match was played out in shivering England even as the countries were hot at war?
Those days, according to the current day captains of the two sides, MS Dhoni and Mohammad Hafeez, is nothing more than a distant memory. Dhoni, in fact, believes that the rivalry has lost its cut-throat nature, obviously for the better.
“I believe it has mellowed down over the years. Nowadays, you won’t find altercations like it used to happen when the players of the last generation played,” Dhoni said a day before the clash. “We used to get tense watching those matches on TV when we were young. There used to be plenty of action happening apart from cricket. It’s good it’s not happening nowadays. You don’t want to cross the line,” he said.
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Hafeez was asked what he felt about the Pakistan fans who want his team to beat India more than winning the trophy. “It’s great to know the expectations of the fans but we would like to win the World T20 trophy,” said Hafeez with a smile. “But for that we need to start well and win tomorrow’s match.”