After cricket, Pakistanis show football skills


New Delhi : After registering an emphatic win over Delhi here Friday, Pakistani cricketers showed their soccer talent during a quick game to unwind, with captain Shoaib Malik and Naved Anjum exhibiting fine skills.

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After their six-wicket win, the Pakistani team split into two, with one wearing orange bibs and other the usual green-yellow One-Day International jerseys for the football match.

Malik made good use of his legs and looked adept at dodging his opponents skilfully. He formed a good combination with speedster Anjum and batsman Imran Nazir as they helped their team score a few goals.

And after scoring each goal they hugged each other and celebrated.

Nazir once skidded on the green turf in celebration after scoring a goal, beating wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who played the role of the goalkeeper in the orange bib.

Coach Geoff Lawson also played for Malik’s team but fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was absent for a game that is used to build team spirit as well as unwind after a game of cricket.

After the football match, which was watched by policemen and a few diehard spectators who had stayed back to have a closer at the stars, the Pakistanis did a few exercises even as the fans got closer and closer.

A few photographers got the opportunity to click them from close — and the Pakistanis obliged most of them.

In Friday’s match, watched by more than 15,000 spectators, Akhtar and Shahid Afridi clearly emerged as the Delhi crowd’s favourites. They got the loudest cheers. Afridi only bowled and did not bat but he did play football.

Akhtar also got loud cheers when he emerged from the dressing room to go to the gymnasium after the Delhi innings.