'Courtesy hugs and handshakes should stay in dressing room': Sikander Bakht responds to critics

April 29, 2023

Cricketer-turned-analyst Sikander Bakht says it won't work if opponents are scoring runs and bowlers are smiling

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A combo of former Pakistani cricketer Sikander Bakht and pacer Naseem Shah's picture from a match in Asia Cup 2022. —Twitter/Sikanderbakhts/AFP

After suffering massive criticism over a statement about fast bowlers, former Pakistan Test cricketer Sikander Bakht has responded to the critics.

Taking a dig at the current lot of fast bowlers in the national squad, Bakht said that the pacers should have an aggressive demeanour towards the batters of the opponent teams. However, the statement did not sit well with some people who said that the former paceman didn't look aggressive either when he used to play, while sharing his old pictures.

Responding to the criticism, Bakht clarified that he meant to say that courtesy hugs and smiles should be restricted to off the field.

"Yes, I also had innocent looks during my playing days. But, I used to irritate batters with words," he added.

He said that he learned that from Australia.

"We went there for the first time and as soon as we entered the ground, players started sledging, it is their way to put opposition under pressure. I adopted this thing from there and you won't believe it, a couple of times during first-class cricket, opposition batters came to our dressing room to beat me because I irritated them with words while bowling," he recalled.

The cricketer-turned-analyst shared that they even used to have fun and courtesy talks with Indian players but only outside the ground.

"If you are going to hug and shake handin courtesy, it should be done only in the dressing room," he said.

"Or, hit the ball on batter's head [while bowling], and when he falls, go to pick him up or give him water, that is a courtesy call," Bakht said.

Otherwise, he said, he would stick to his point that fast bowlers should be aggressive, adding that it won't work if the opponents are scoring runs and the bowlers are smiling.

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