The rivalry between India and Pakistan is not just confined to the cricket field only. Sometimes the fight has to be fought outside as well. And Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar now knows it better than anyone else!
The incident happened last year during the ICC World Cup which was held in England and Wales. It was Vijay Shankar’s debut World Cup and he made sure to shine at the highest level. He was selected for the India-Pakistan group league match that was played on June 16, 2020, at Manchester. Vijay got to know one day before the match that he will be included in the Indian playing XI. India-Pakistan match is always stressful for the players and it was the World Cup match. So the pressure was double, to say the least, and Vijay Shankar was feeling it. However, he didn’t want the pressure to get the better of him. He tried to relax before the match and decided to go out for coffee before the match with some of his teammates. That’s when they encountered a weird situation and didn’t know how to react!
Vijay Shankar revealed that when they were having coffee, a Pakistani fan suddenly started to abuse them and even he was recording the entire incident on his mobile camera. That’s when he got the first test of India-Pakistan rivalry even before the first ball of the match was bowled! “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 abusing us. 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,” Shankar revealed on Bharat Army podcast.
Vijay Shankar had a dream start to his World Cup career
However, Vijay Shankar played an important role in that group league match against Pakistan as India beat them comprehensively. He made 15 odd runs. During the high-octane match, Indian pacer Bhuvneswar Kumar had to walk off the field after bowling just 2.4 overs due to hamstring injury. That’s when Vijay was given the responsibility to complete the over and he came off with flying colors! He got a wicket in his first ball that he bowled to Imam Ul Haq. The Pakistani batsman was trapped in LBW. It was a perfect World Cup debut for any cricketer.