India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan seems to be good friends with Pakistan cricketer and former captain Shoaib Malik. During Pakistan’s fourth ODI of the five-match series against New Zealand, Shoaib Malik was hit on the head by the ball in Hamilton, and was injured critically. To everyone’s surprise Shikhar Dhawan tweeted Malik on Thursday (18 January) and wished him to have a quick recovery.
India and Pakistan haven’t been playing much cricket lately, owing to the political tensions between the two neighbouring nations. However, that didn’t stop Shikhar Dhawan from being concerned about Team India’s rival Pakistan cricket team’s main man, Shoaib Malik. And you can only imagine how the fans of both the countries must have reacted after witnessing the sporty and humanitarian gesture, amidst the perpetual verbal wars between the nations’ cricketing boards, PCB and BCCI.
Shikhar Dhawan wrote on Shoaib Malik’s Twitter page, “Janab @realshoaibmalik, hope you’re recovering well and will be fit soon to be back on the field! Take care”
While Shoaib Malik replied with a hearty smile, it was the Pakistan fans who were totally floored by the unexpected gesture from an Indian cricketer. The tweet drew praise from numerous of cricket and non-cricket fans.
The reactions on Twitter were something like this:
-Great to see love between Indian and Pakistani players .well done Gabbar paji (Shikhar Dhawan)
-Wow..it’s good to see u such a great sportsman spirit. have a good life
@SDhawan25.. respect from Pakistan
-Thank you Dhawan sb for tweeting about my hero @realshoaibmalik . We all praying for him, he will be fit very soon and will be back in field in shaa allah. Thank you once again and best of luck
-Wahhh Great sportsman spirit Tusi great ho g Dhawan bhai @SDhawan25..
respect for you from Pakistan
-Pak india player’s ke yahe understanding dono nation k liya acha hy (This exact understanding between Pakistan and India players is congenial for good relations between the nations)
How Shoaib Malik got injured
Malik was hurt in the 32nd over of the fourth ODI against New Zealand, when he was trying to steal a quick single. As the batsman was running between the wickets, New Zealand cricketer Colin Munro’s throw had hit Malik right at the back of his head.
Malik was not wearing a helmet as it was a spinner dominant pitch, but ultimately had to pay the price the hard way. The ball had hit Malik’s head so hard that it had bounced off and gone for a boundary. The 35-year-old was attended to by the medical team immediately, but his stay at the crease was cut-short after Mitchell Santner had dismissed him in the very next over.
However, Shoaib Malik recovered soon from the injury and even gave a humorous account of the injury on Twitter. He wrote, “Alhumdulilah I’m feeling great, the ball that hit me is in critical condition though. Thank u dosto for all the wishes, messages, and tweets. Please remember me in your Duas”.
Pakistan lost the ODI series 4-0 to England, although there is still one match remaining to be played.
Shikhar Dhawan was selected for India’s Test series against South Africa, but was dropped after he failed to perform in the 1st Test at Newlands in Cape Town. He was replaced by KL Rahul for the 2nd and 3rd Test.