The 2017 Champions Trophy didn’t start on a positive note for Pakistan. But as the tournament progressed, the team, led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, gained in momentum. In the final against India at the Kennington Oval in London, the Men in Green soared above expectations and won by 180 runs. Fakhar Zaman’s maiden ODI ton and Mohammad Amir’s opening spell helped their cause.
Hardik Pandya got a 43-ball 76, but once he got out, the writing was on the walls for the Men in Blue. Recalling the happy moments, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who was a part of the historic game, said how the victory has a special place in his heart.
“In terms of winning that tournament in 2017, yes it was a great feeling to win another ICC Trophy, but I have another memory that is very special to me,” Malik was quoted as saying in Pak Passion.
The world badly needs India-Pakistan rivalry to resume: Shoaib Malik
He also talked about an example of friendship between the Indian and Pakistan cricketers. After Pakistan won, the Sialkot-born Malik was having a chat with Yuvraj Singh. But then the Indian all-rounder asked Malik to go and celebrate along with his teammates.
“I remember after the final at The Oval against India sitting in the dining hall talking to Yuvraj Singh and we were just chatting and he said, ‘Your team-mates are celebrating, don’t miss out on this special moment, you should be celebrating with them.’ It is just a small example of how cricket generates very good friendships no matter where we come from,” Malik stated.
It’s been over seven years since India and Pakistan last played in a bilateral series. Even since then, the Asian powerhouses only take part in tournaments, organised by the ICC or the ACC. The 38-year-old Malik said the rivalry needs to resume and drew its parallels with the high-profile Ashes.
“I think the world badly needs this rivalry to resume, in the same way that world cricket needs the Ashes. Could England and Australia imagine Test cricket without an Ashes series? Both series are played with the same kind of passion and have such a great history, so it is a shame that we don’t play right now,” he added.
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