'This is cricket': Sportsmanship wins hearts after the Pakistan-India T20 match

'This is cricket': Sportsmanship wins hearts after the Pakistan-India T20 match

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni's actions after losing to Pakistan by 10 wickets proved that sport is about more than victory.
25 Oct, 2021

The Pakistan cricket team achieved last night what few thought they would — they beat India in a World Cup match by 10 wickets. There were a lot of firsts in the T20 match — the first time Pakistan beat India in a World Cup fixture, the first time Pakistan won a match by 10 wickets and the first time India lost by 10 wickets. But the match also taught us the joys of sportsmanship.

Along with congratulations and exclamations of joy, Twitter was full of memes and jokes but it was also full of videos and pictures of Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan and Virat Kohli sharing a moment after the match.

The Indian captain shook the Pakistan captain's hands and gave Rizwan a big hug. The moment cemented itself in the hearts of cricket fans as one celebrating a shared love of the game.

Kohli's show of sportsmanship proved to fans that at the end of the day, a game well played is a game well played regardless of who won.

Fans wanted politics to be left out of the conversation.

In fact, many were just happy to see Azam and Kohli in a single frame.

They also spotted another heartwarming moment on the pitch when former captain MS Dhoni spoke to Azam, Imad Wasim, Shahnawaz Dahani and Shoaib Malik.

Dahani also posted a selfie with Dhoni on Twitter, saying he wouldn't forget the excitement of meeting one of his favourite players.

For many Pakistani cricket players (and fans) Kohli and Dhoni are legends and meeting them is like meeting your heroes. That the players were so gracious after losing is a true sign of sportsmanship.

Win or lose, at the end of the day, mutual respect is of far greater value than any scorecard. There were thousands of people on Twitter praising not only the way the players played the game but the way they acted after it was over.

While we're very glad that Pakistan won (and what a victory!), we're even gladder to see the respect the players had for each other on and off the field. We hope we get to see touching moments like these throughout the T20 World Cup and beyond.