Home > Features >

India vs Pakistan: When Sachin Tendulkar brought a school to a halt

Apart from the rivalry which may never cease to exist, one also needs to appreciate the fact that India-Pakistan matches bring people from both sides of the border closer © Getty Images
Apart from the rivalry which may never cease to exist, one also needs to appreciate the fact that India-Pakistan matches bring people from both sides of the border closer © Getty Images

By Geeta Pai Vaidya

I am not a huge cricket fan, but with my husband and son following the sport with great passion, I had to keep a track of events. However, when it came to India-Pakistan contests, I always joined them and was glued to the television screens. There are many moments that remain etched in my memory: Misbah-ul-Haq scooping the last ball of the ICC World T20 2007 final or Sachin Tendulkar being dropped at least four times during the 2011 World Cup semi-final. However, one memory stood out for a major part: almost 28 years ago, Javed Miandad smashed the six off the last ball to win a game for Pakistan at Sharjah.

In 1998, my husband moved to Dubai and we followed him a year later. Sharjah was just a 15 minute drive away from home for us, but it always had this different cricketing aura. By the time we moved to Dubai, India weren’t playing Pakistan there too many times. In 1999, they faced them thrice in a tri-series. In the final, India were bowled out for 125. I remember my husband saying during the innings break as we followed the game on television, “There is still hope. We defended the same score in the Rothmans Cup final in 1985 at the same ground.” But, by then, winning against Pakistan at Sharjah was considered a remote possibility for the Indians: Thanks to that six in 1986. The famous saying amongst Indians there was: “Hamne Kaha tha Sharjah. Harjah nahi!”

A year down the line, India were back again to face Pakistan and South Africa in a tri-series. By then, my son had started to understand the game well and was adamant at going over to Sharjah to catch up on the matches. However, my husband and I weren’t all that keen. We had heard all sorts of stories about that venue. There was a word that the atmosphere wasn’t quite good for Indians. Taking our nine-year-old son would have been too risky we felt. Some of our family friends had been to India-Pakistan games in the past and didn’t have good experiences in the stands. My son had to wait for four more years, to watch his first game when we were back home in Mumbai.

But if there is any memory that strikes me, it is the 2003 World Cup. India and Pakistan were facing each other after almost three years and you could sense the buzz in the days leading up to March 1. I had started teaching at a school, where my son studied as well. I had to literally drag him out of the house and put him in the school bus. Being a teacher’s son had its own price, he still says. And, when we reached school, it was apparent that it wasn’t a normal day. Firstly, half the students hadn’t turned up and the other half were well armed with walkmans and mobiles, all surreptitiously smuggled in.

During our break, we heard that Pakistan had put up a score around 270. As the classes began again, the words spread around that Sachin Tendulkar had gone crazy, smashing Shoaib Akhtar and others at will. My son later told me that most of his teachers had also brought their radio sets. We were all human after all! Yet, the day wrapped up at the normal time, but I asked my husband, who worked close-by to pick us up as we didn’t want to miss Tendulkar’s ton. I stopped my son from boarding the school bus and took him to the gate where my husband was ready. “Sachin is on 98,” he said. But, just as we got in, Akhtar bowled that short ball and had him out caught. It was silence in the car! We did get home well in time to watch Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh knock off the winning runs, but my son blames me to this day, for he missed an epic from his hero!

Keeping the cricket aside, living in Dubai did teach me a lot of things. With the large expatriate population there, you interact with many Pakistanis and see your preconceived notions melt away. You soon realize that they are just like you and perhaps, only a boundary separates us. Our neighbours were Pakistanis and I still recall their delicious biryani on Eid. On Diwali, we would take sweets to their place. When my husband was away in Saudi Arabia for a week, his friend, who was from Karachi, drove my eight-year-old son to his first day at the cricket coaching camp. Those are the things I would like to remember. It is just a game after all!

(Geeta Pai Vaidya is a Cost Accountant by profession. She is currently a freelance commerce teacher)

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Mithali Raj: India women confident ahead of ODI series against South Africa

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here