India vs Pakistan cricket contests are more often than not some of the most charged-up affairs in world cricket. Rarely do we see cricketers from either side relax on the field when the two neighbours face off against each other.
But former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal revealed a different side of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, albeit during a charity match in UK. It was a charity match in which some of the biggest names of the cricketing worlds were playing. While Rest of the World (ROW) XI were filled with the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh, Shahid Afridi and Shane Warne, the likes of Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were playing for MCC.
In the first innings, ROW XI went on to bat, and MCC bowler Saeed Ajmal picked up four wickets quickly as ROW XI went to 68/5 at the end of 12 overs.
Ajmal has recalled an incident when Tendulkar asked him to ‘have fun’ during a charity match played between the Rest of the World XI versus MCC in 2014. Ajmal made the revelation recently during an interaction on Cricket Pakistan.
“It was an MCC match. It’s supposed to be a friendly match. The players are required to spend some time in the middle because the longer the game goes on, the more funds will be collected. When the match started, I picked up four wickets in four overs,” Ajmal said.
“So, Sachin Tendulkar came running to me and he said, ‘Saeed bhai, you are not supposed to play this match too seriously. This is a charity match. This is for the people who have come here to enjoy, they will have food, drinks. This match has to not get over before 6:30’,” he further added.
“So I told him I was just bowling well to play in a positive way. So he said that ‘I agree with you, but this is a charity match, so funds have to be collected. So enjoy the match, play cricket and have fun’. So that’s what happened,” Ajmal, who turned out in 35 Tests, 113 ODIs and 64 T20s for Pakistan, said.