5 Pakistan cricketers who are loved by Indians
The Indo-Pak rivalry in cricket is arguably next only to the Ashes rivalry between England and Australia. The arch rivals have produced some thrilling contests over the years and political tensions between the two countries have only added to the excitement. The contests between these two sub-continental giants, who were divided at birth, have had its fair share of bad blood. The 1996 incident between Pakistani opener Aamer Sohail and India’s Venkatesh Prasad, when the two teams met in the World Cup quarter-finals, underlines how passions usually flare in Indo-Pak contests. Yet, the on-field acrimony is often buried and forgotten when the players meet off it.
Another reason for the mellowing down of the intense rivalry has been the relatively stable political relations between the two countries over the past decade, which has also facilitated more cricket between the two. Although still not in the frame for Indian Premier League, Pakistani cricketers, barring a few incidents, have received much love and hospitality from Indians whenever they've visited the country. Here is a look at 5 Pakistani cricketers who have found love on both sides of the border.
#1 Imran Khan
The Pakistani captain who led the ‘cornered tigers’ to World Cup glory in 1992, was always a crowd favorite and was a hit among women for his suave looks. And if, to those looks ,you add the abilities of the finest all rounder of a generation, then fame is not too far away. To call what Imran Khan had at the peak of his career just ‘fame’ would be insulting the aura of the man and his aura reached its pinnacle with the 1992 World Cup victory, when he took a bunch of no-hopers to World Cup win in Australia.
The all-rounder used his cricketing fame to enter politics and has succeeded in making his party Paksitan Tehreek-e-Insaf a force to reckon with in the national politics.
As a politician, Imran Khan visits India regularly and was recently felicitated by Cricket Association of Bengal along with Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for his contributions to the game ahead of India’s match against Pakistan in 2016 World T20.