Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Arch-rival India and Pakistan players were seen sharing light moments before, after and during their last match in the ongoing Asia Cup.

However, as per former Team India opener Gautam Gambhir, Indian team is representing a billion people and shouldn’t be displaying acts of friendship inside the stadium.

“When you play on the field for your national team, you must leave the friendship outside the boundary ropes. Game face hona zaroori hai. Dosti bahaar rehni chahiye. There has to be an aggression in the eyes of both sets of players,” said Gambhir.

“You can be as friendly as you want after those six or seven hours of cricket. Those hours are very important because you are not just representing yourself, you are representing a nation of over a billion as well. These days you see players of rival teams patting each other on the back and exchanging fist bumps during a match. You would never see that a few years ago,” he added.

But, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi didn’t subscribe to Gambhir’s comment.

“That is his individual opinion. I think differently. We are cricketers and ambassadors of our country as well. We all have fans across the globe. So it is better to send out a message of love and respect. Yes there is aggression on the field, but there is life off the field as well,” said Afridi.

Notably, arch-rivals India and Pakistan will lock horns again in a high-voltage Super Four clash of the Asia Cup on Sunday.