Even as tensions between India and Pakistan continue to dominate headlines, cricketers from this side of the border won plaudits for their heartwarming display of camaraderie during the Champions Trophy final on Sunday, which Pakistan won by 180 runs.
In a video posted by ICC on social media, Indian cricketers like Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh can be seen enjoying a chuckle with their Pakistani counterparts. The video comes a day after an image of former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni holding Sarfraz Ahmed's baby surfaced on social media.
— ICC (@ICC) June 19, 2017
Later in his interview with Nasser Hussain, India skipper Virat Kohli also was at his gracious best while lauding Pakistan for their maiden Champions Trophy title.
"I want to congratulate the Pakistan team and their fans first. I think they had an amazing tournament. They proved they can upset anyone on their day. A disappointing day but I have a smile on my face because of the way we played across the tournament. They were more intense and passionate on the day. You can always look at things in hindsight, sometimes you just have to stand there and admire the way the opposition played. Credit to them, they outplayed us in all three departments. We need to move forward and learn from our mistakes," Kohli said.
Other Indian cricketers too were magnanimous in their praise of their arch-rivals with VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh the most vocal.
Congratulations Pak cricket team 4 winning the CL17.guys plz stop saying who is baap who is beta.sabka Malik ek woh uparwala.Ind or paki🙏🙏 — Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 18, 2017
Congrats Pakistan on winning the #CT17 While they were a lot of brilliant performers the way Sarfaraz captained impressed me the most👍
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) June 18, 2017
Congratulations Pakistan on a really comprehensive victory today. Well played, deserved winners and a great result for Pakistan cricket.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 18, 2017
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India are expected to depart for the UK in the first week of June following a week of hard quarantine. It is not yet known if Virat Kohli and Co. will be allowed to train ahead of the marquee clash against New Zealand during their quarantine in Southampton. The match starts on 18 June.
Big names such as skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma will not be part of the tour as they will be engaged in a marquee five-match Test series in England.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli reached Mumbai on Tuesday, the day IPL-14 was indefinitely suspended due to multiple COVID cases in its bio-bubble. By Thursday early morning, all the other playing and non-playing staff had also left for their onward destinations.