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‘No argument, nothing was said, just wanted to provoke Prasad’: Sohail says 1996 WC quarters incident ‘misconstrued’

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Former Pakistan batsman Aamer Sohail opened up on his infamous interaction with India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad during the World Cup 1996 encounter in Bengaluru and insisted that there was no verbal exchange from his side to the Indian pacer. In the 15th over of the match, Sohail was seen pointing his bat towards the boundary ropes and appeared to mouth a few words to Prasad.

In the next ball itself, Prasad cleaned up the former Pakistan opener for 55 and gave him an angry send-off. The moment is etched in the minds of every cricket fan, and 25 years after the incident, it is still remembered as one of the iconic instances of the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry.

In a recent interaction, Sohail said that he was just trying to rile up the bowler keeping the situation of the match in mind.

“There was no argument. There was nothing said. It was interpreted differently. They have to say something. There was no verbal exchange. The situation was such that Javed Miandad, being an extremely smart cricketer, he told us how to rile up the bowler when you think he is going to take charge. How to move him away from his focus, or his aims, or whatever he is thinking,” Sohail said in a video uploaded on Cricket Life

“It was reverse psychology. Saeed and I were going great guns. He got out, it just got bogged down. And I thought India is taking charge. They are coming back into the game. So just to unsettle the bowler… because I thought both the bowlers are starting to bowl well,” Sohail explained.

The former Pakistan captain further said that the Pakistan team was aware that Indian spinners will take charge in the match as the game goes on, so they needed to rile up the fast bowlers to get as many runs on the board before the spinners came on.

There were so many other things we had to take into account – there were three spinners in India — one or two others who could hurl their arms. We knew the pitch was going to deteriorate and offer something to the spinners. One over was deducted already, we were chasing 287 in 49 overs. So there were so many things we had to take into account. We were trying to bring that required run rate at the end of 20th over between 5 and 4. From there on, if we had lost two wickets, it would be easier for the remainder of batsmen to score runs,” Sohail said.

“So, when I realised the bowlers are settling. I just tried to provoke the bowler, nothing was said. I tried to provoke the bowler just to move him away from his dangerous length, and make him lose his focus. I just pointed out something, and people thought so many things that I lost my temper, this what happened, and the bowler had a few other things to say.

“It was a good delivery he bowled, I was hoping it would be a short-pitched delivery that I would be able to hit it down the ground, it was not the case.

“But it was blown out of proportion. I was trying to unsettle the bowler because the situation was such. There was no word exchange, just a simple gesture, and people misconstrued in so many ways,” he signed off.'No argument, nothing was said, just wanted to provoke Prasad': Sohail says 1996 WC quarters incident 'misconstrued'


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