India-Pakistan contests are never short of high-voltage drama as sparks fly thick and fast.
Even as fans on both sides of the border hope to see their national team renew their traditional rivalry, let’s take a look at some of the more controversial moments during Indo-Pak One-Day Internationals:
Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf, formerly Yousuf Youhana, had a run-in during the Vizag ODI. The incident occurred when Youhana injured his elbow while trying to avoid getting run-out.
Ganguly, worried about being fined for slow over-rate, got upset with the time being taken by the Pakistan support staff to administer medical treatment to Youhana and the batsman’s request for a runner. He commented on it suggesting that it was a ‘time-wasting technique’ upsetting Youhana and leading to an exchange of words between the two. The Indian captain is believed to have told Youhana to ask the umpires to note down the time taken to treat the Pakistani cricketer.
Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq became only the third batsman to be dismissed for obstructing the field in ODIs - the other two being Rameez Raja and Mohinder Amarnath.
The umpire gave Inzy out after the Pakistani batsman blocked the ball with his bat while still out of his crease. The Indians appealing raised a storm with fans and Inzamam suggesting that it was ‘unsportsmanlike’ and against the spirit of the game.
The 2nd ODI almost saw a repeat of the Inzamam controversy, with a different cast. This time, Shoaib Malik and Zaheer Khan were involved in the incident.
Shoaib and Younis Khan were at the crease. Younis hit Zaheer and called for a single. Shoaib, who was at the non-striker’s end responded, but realised that it was impossible. He turned back and got into a tangle with Zaheer who was trying to field the ball. Shoaib allegedly obstructed the fielder and reportedly kicked the ball away from Zaheer to safely make his ground. The Indians were visibly upset by the incident and Yuvraj was ready to protest, but skipper Rahul Dravid decided not to pursue a confrontational action.
The 1997 Sahara Cup incident where the temperamental Inzamam lost his cool and assaulted a member of the crowd is etched in every cricket fans’ memory. Temperatures rose in the cool environs of Toronto when an Indian cricket fan allegedly taunted Inzy over his weight.
After being reported called various derivatives of potato by Shiv Kumar Thind, the Pakistani batsman, fielding at the boundary, lost his cool and jumped into the crowd to bash the ‘irritant’. The matter wasn’t helped by Pakistan’s 12th man, Mushtaq Ahmed, who handed him a cricket bat. Fans and security personnel then brought Inzy under control.
The police was called in and both parties arrested, but not before Inzy had one more go at Thind. Both eventually dropped charges against each other, but the Pakistani batsman was banned for two ODIs.
It was the third final of the Silver Jubilee Independence Cup at Dhaka and India’s chasing a 315 to win, more than any team had ever made batting second to win an ODI till then. The Pakistan team went off the field citing bad light, but skipper Mohammad Azharuddin refused to leave the field and sat on the pitch till the opposition and umpires came back and play was resumed. Eventually, Hrishikesh Kanitkar hit a boundary to help India win by three wickets with a ball to spare.
India and Pakistan are facing each other for the first time in a World Cup. Players are tense, fans are expectant and adding the volatile Javed Miandad to this combustible mixture was bound to lead to an explosion.
An under-pressure Miandad is trying to ressurect the Pakistan innings. More adds to the tense situation by constantly appealing. Miandad reports More to the umpires, but to no avail. The Indian wicketkeeper in his attempt to get under his opponent's skin says something that gets Miandad's goat and a war of words starts. But Miandad is not done yet and decides to mock More by jumping up and down on the pitch.
It’s a high-pressure World Cup quarter-final and the match starts on a controversial note with Wasim Akram pulling out at the last moment.
Chasing India’s 287, Pakistan is off to a brilliant start. Stand-in-captain Aamer Sohail is aggression personified. Sohail hits a cover boundary and trying to upset Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad comes down the pitch and points to the boundary.
This seems to backfire for the Pakistan opener as Prasad uproots Sohail’s stumps off the very next ball. And then the ‘gentle’ pacer out of character responds to the previous face-off by pointing to the pavilion.