Dubai: Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has hailed the ‘sporting brotherhood’ displayed by arch rivals India and Pakistan after their T20 World Cup clash. Matthew Hayden said the players have set an example with their conduct for other teams to follow. India lost to Pakistan for the first time in an ICC World Cup. They were beaten by 10 wickets in the opening Super 12 game of the T20 World Cup played Sunday.
However, one of the most endearing images from the match was of Virat Kohli hugging winning team hero Mohammed Rizwan.
“The thing that inspired me the most out of the performance was the fantastic sporting brotherhood,” Hayden said in a video message. He is currently working as a batting consultant with the Pakistan T20 squad.
Former India captain MS Dhoni, now a mentor with the team, was also seen talking to the Pakistan players after the game ended. Among them were Pak captain Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani.
Ever since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which hundreds were killed, India has largely avoided bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan, competing only in ICC events.
Hayden said Pakistan and Indian players set a good example ‘of how we should treat each other as people’ after coming together at the end of the match.
“That’s the role of sport, so it’s beautiful to see those moments where MS Dhoni is holding court with a few of the (Pakistan) players and Virat Kohli and (Rizwan), you know, in brotherhood, joining hands after there was heated battles in the middle.”
The 49-year-old Hayden was also impressed with pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi’s opening spell where he snapped the wickets of openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
“Pakistan has velocity in abundance, not just here but also back home that isn’t celebrating in this World Cup,” Hayden said. “Shaheen really is that one leader within the bowling group … Nothing beats velocity, mixed up with some skill,” the Australian signed off.