Former Indian cricketer Vinod Kambli has recently reflected upon the great bonds between India-Pakistan players off the field by recollecting a personal incident from his playing days.
Vinod Kambli spoke that he had a fan from Pakistan who used to write him letters and it was former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif who used to get those letters for him.
The 48-year old made his ODI debut during India's tour of Pakistan in 1991 and he went on to play numerous matches against India's arch-rivals.
Speaking about the tour, Vinod Kambli recalled that the Indian team was treated really well throughout the visit. He also shared how Rashid Latif used to fetch those letters for him from the Karachi-based fan:
The fan following from Pakistan was always there: Vinod Kambli
“He used to send me letters [because] that time when there were no mobiles, no phone calls so he used to express himself through letters. And you won’t believe who used to bring those letters for me – Rashid Latif. He (the fan) used to go to Rashid Latif and gave all his letters to him and Rashid, whenever they used to come here, then I got it. So the fan following in Pakistan also, it’s still there. When I was playing and after I retired also, the fan following was there," Vinod Kambli said.
“Playing against Pakistan, on the field, we had the rivalry, but off the field, they are all my friends, Waqar [Younis], Wasim [Akram], and the rest of them, we had that kind of friendship which we still cherish. When we used to play, we gave our hearts out, we used to give our best," Vinod Kambli elaborated.
Vinod Kambli represented India in 17 Tests and 104 ODIs, amassing 1084 and 2477 runs in the two formats respectively. He was deemed to be a special talent with the bat but struggled to cement a permanent spot in the playing XI for a large part of his career.