Zaheer Khan opened up about the warm hospitality that he and the rest of his India teammates received at the hands of their Pakistan counterparts during his playing days. The former Indian pacer spoke about his experience playing his first game against Pakistan at the ICC World Cup in 2003.
Zaheer Khan was one of the old war horses in the Indian team who enjoyed great success with the National team, including the ICC World Cup 2011 triumph under MS Dhoni. Khan, who has a tally of 282 wickets from 200 ODI matches, picked up two wickets in the semi-final win against Pakistan in 2011 that included the crucial wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq.
The former India captain heaped praise on his opponents as he commended their hospitality when India toured Pakistan in 2004.
"Off the field as well, there were these moments that we enjoyed a lot. Me, Ashish Nehra and all of us would hang out quite often with the Pakistani players. Since you have a similar kind of culture there as well, there is always a lot to talk about. The food there is also fantastic. So we have always enjoyed going to Pakistan. The hospitality that we got there was something to really talk about. They would always make the extra effort. Even when they would come here, the Indian players would make sure that they are very comfortable in our country," Khan said in an exclusive interview with Cricbuzz.
Khan made his debut for India in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2000 which was played in Kenya. However, the veteran pacer had to wait until the ICC World Cup 2003 to play his first game for India against eternal rivals - Pakistan.
"The 2003 world cup match was the first time I was playing against Pakistan, so it was the first time I was up against the pressure of playing them, the whole atmosphere and how things go around the match. It was very special. I felt the pressure, no doubt about that, and enjoyed it as well because we won that match," Khan added.
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