Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

May it be any sports, tension always runs high when arch-rivals India and Pakistan lock horns against each other on the field. Fans have witnessed several on-field brawls between India and Pakistan players in cricket hockey and football. 

Let’s recollect some occasions on the field when players of both the teams were involved in some infamous altercations.

Altercation on hockey ground

Hockey players of India and Pakistan teams were engaged in an altercation in the tri-nation hockey tournament in Busselton in 2011. India were leading 3-0 when Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas struck two goals and Captain Shakeel Abbasi scored the last goal. Indian player Gurbaj Singh had an altercation with Pakistani players near the penalty corner and it grew grave to the extent of physical violence. Gurbaj was injured in the process. The incident forced the match to be stopped for about half an hour. Even though the two teams returned to the turf later, they agreed not to resume the match.

Massive brawl in SAFF Championship

When India were putting up a dominant display and 2-0 up, a huge brawl broke out between India and Pakistan during the SAFF Championship in 2023. The ugly incident happened after India’s head coach Igor Stimac stopped Abdullah Iqbal from taking a quick throw in. However, Pakistan players and head coach Shahzad Anwar lost their cool following the incident and they confronted Stimac, who was sent off. India’s head coach Stimac was visibly disappointed with the referee’s decision to give the throw in to Pakistan. He thought that right back Pritam Kotal was fouled in the process. The incident took place minutes before the break. Meanwhile, Shahzad was also penalised for hurling abuses at Stimac.

Kiran More vs Javed Miandad

Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More appealed a bit too much behind the stumps to create a bit of pressure on Pakistan’s best batsman Javed Miandad during a 1992 World Cup match. Miandad ignored it initially. However, the Pakistan batsman got irritated with the appeals and decided to mock More. He started jumping after pushing the ball towards the offside to make fun of More’s appealing.

Aamer Sohail vs Venkatesh Prasad

The incident happened during 1996 World Cup. Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail was going great guns during a match against India. He was smashing the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. During his explosive knock, he came down the track and thumped Venkatesh Prasad through the offside for a boundary. Then the Pakistan batter gestured towards Prasad that he would hit him through the same region off the next ball as well. However, Prasad came back strongly and clean-bowled Sohail on the next ball and gave him an angry send-off.

Shahid Afridi vs MS Dhoni 

During a match against Pakistan in 2005, MS Dhoni, batting at No 3 played an inside out boundary against Shahid Afridi. The Pakistani spinner didn’t like it and said something to Dhoni in quite an angry fashion. However, Dhoni decided to retaliate back not verbally but with his bat. The wicket-keeper batsman smashed Afridi’s next ball through the same region again for a six.

Shahid Afridi vs Gautam Gambhir

The ugly spat between Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi happened during an ODI match between the arch-rivals in 2007.  After hitting Afridi for a four, Gambhir ran a single in the next delivery and the duo collided in the process. Subsequently, there was a verbal duel and a near altercation between them.

Shoaib Akhtar vs Harbhajan Singh

The unsavoury incident between Shoaib Akhtar and Harbhajan Singh happened in an Asia Cup game in 2010. India had lost a few wickets and were under tremendous pressure. Akhtar was bowling extremely quickly and was trying to wipe out India’s tail at that moment. Harbhajan hit Akhtar for a huge six and it didn’t go down well with the speedster. Subsequently, he had a verbal altercation with Bhajji. Eventually, Harbhajan won the game for India.


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