Vijay Shankar, who made his World Cup debut in the crunch encounter against Pakistan last year, revealed how a Pakistan fan abused Indian players in a coffee shop, a day ahead of the game. Shankar revealed that the players sat there just copping the abuse that was being thrown at them.
There are very few contests in the world of sport that are as highly anticipated as an India-Pakistan cricket encounter and the sheer gargantuan nation of the rivalry has seen it being labelled the ‘mother of all rivalries’. Political tension between the two countries, over the last decade, has meant that the cricketing clashes between the two nations have been reduced to merely ICC tournaments, but that, in turn, if anything, has made the Indo-Pak clashes more intense owing to them not playing more than once a year.
And thus, the case was no different last year when the two sides met in the 2019 World Cup at Old Trafford. While India entered the game unbeaten in the competition, Pakistan had lost just one solitary match and had also beaten tournament favorites England, and thus they had every reason to believe that they could break the World Cup duck against the Indians.
The buzz, ahead of the game, was off the charts, as expected, but in an unpleasant revelation, all-rounder Vijay Shankar has now claimed that a select few Indian cricketers were abused by a Pakistan fan, who, according to the Tamil Nadu man, shouted derogatory words at them.
“Few of us players had gone out for coffee one day before the game when a Pakistan fan came up to us and he was literally abusing us. So that was my first experience of an India-Pakistan game,” Shankar said on the Bharat Army Podcast, reported Times Now.
“We just had to take it. He was abusing us and recording everything, so we couldn’t react. All we could do was sit and watch what he was doing.”
The game was, however, a special one for Shankar, who made his World Cup debut in the said encounter. Shankar capped off his debut by picking the wicket of Imam-ul-Haq on his very first ball and eventually, it was all smiles as the Men in Blue beat their Pakistan counterparts by 89 runs to keep their perfect record in World Cup against their archrivals intact.