The Champions League final of 2017 will go down in history as one of Pakistan cricket’s most glorious achievement and one of Indian cricket’s biggest missed opportunities. Expected to be romped over by India in the final following a one-sided defeat in the league stage, Pakistan crushed their arch-rivals by 180 runs, steamrolling Virat Kohli and Co. en route to their maiden Champions Trophy title. Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed became the toast of the nation for wrecking India’s top order, dismissing the star-studded trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli, a blow which India could never recover from.
India and Pakistan fought tooth and nail till the last ball. However, once the game was over. Friendly scenes emerged at The Oval with players of both teams engaging in chats, giving each other hugs and congratulating one another. Amir recalled an incident that took place after the match including Kohli, Shoaib Malik, Yuvraj Singh and the left-arm quick himself.
“If you remember, when we won the Champions Trophy final, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj, you, I and Azhar Ali were standing and the way you were explaining that dropped catch of Saeed Ajmal, it was very funny for me. The manner in which you explained it to everyone,” Amir told Shoaib Malik during the show ‘Cricket Kahani’ on A Sports.
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Years ago, Malik was in the centre of what eventually became one of the most hilarious scenes in international cricket. During an ODI against West Indies at the Dubai International Stadium, he and Saeed Ajmal converged to take a catch but neither took it, and on that day, Malik decided to reveal what exactly led to the miscommunication as Kohli, Yuvraj and other looked on.
“It’s one of those things that no matter how many times you discuss it, it still makes you laugh. I go into that phase. He was sitting there with his hands representing a flower. When he tried to take the catch, the ball was completely away from his hands. My mistake was that I should have said a Yes to that catch, but when I saw him fold his hands like flower, I felt it was too easy. It was a dolly and that Saeed would catch it,” said Malik.
“So when that catch was put down, I asked him ‘Why didn’t you take that catch?’. He said ‘I folded my hands like that because I was getting ready to take it in case you drop it. I was like ‘Boss, I had let it go already’. Saeed, everyone knows, is a wonderful chap. He makes you laugh so much it’s unbelievable.”