The Indian players caught up with their Pakistani counterparts during a training session in Dubai ahead of the Asia Cup and the interaction between the two sets of players has since gone viral on social media, especially between modern-day batting greats Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
Meanwhile, Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq hailed the interaction between the two sets of players as another example of how sport can bring nations and people together even in times of political tension, reports the Hindustan Times.
Mushtaq cited the example of the ‘Cricket All Stars’ tour of the United States in 2015, which featured teams led by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne with legendary names from the 90s, especially among the fans.
Watch: India meet their Pakistan counterparts including injured Shaheen Afridi
“I went to Cricket All-Stars a few years ago and there were 25 of the biggest names playing cricket. Sachin and Warne called us all and I also tweeted there – it’s been 6-7 years now – that Pakistani and Indian fans were all we had in the US. And fans from both countries combined the flags of both nations into one.
“Then in the next match more fans did the same and that’s why I tweeted that this is not just cricket or entertainment. This was a culmination of several things that depicted cricket bringing humanity together. Yes, we play matches, there are different angles and emotions, but it also sends a message for love and humanity.
“Yesterday’s pictures summed it all up very well,” Mushtaq told reporters.
The Pakistan spin legend added that the upcoming series of clashes between the two nations, as emotionally charged and hyped as they may be, should ultimately be seen as mere games of cricket.
Apart from Kohli and Babar, Pakistan quick Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury, was seen chatting with Yuzvendra Chahal and Rishabh Pant on the sidelines of the session.
The 2022 Asia Cup begins with Sri Lanka taking on Afghanistan on Saturday, August 27. The marquee clash between India and Pakistan will follow in Dubai the following day.