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When ‘Shy’ Imran Khan Refused To Celebrate Holi With Indian And Pakistani Players In 1987



Back in the 1980s, some of the most legendary India-Pakistan cricketing clashes proved that no matter how fierce the games were on the field, the players' off-field friendship was very different and one of the biggest signs of camaraderie between the two sides were seen during the 1987 Holi celebrations.

In 1986-87, Pakistan were touring India for five Tests and six ODIs, and after the first four Tests ended in a draw the players from both teams got together ahead of the final match in Bangalore and "painted the hotel red."

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However, the Pakistani captain at the time, Imran Khan was nowhere to be found but no player from either side seemed to be bothered by the absence of the legendary cricketer.

In 2021, the former wicket-keeper for the Men in Blue and ex-chairman of the Indian team selection committee, Kiren More opened up during an interaction on The Greatest Rivalry Podcast.

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According to More, it happened at the red-painted Westin hotel in Bangalore. The hotel's swimming pool, all of the rooms, and every nook and cranny were all painted crimson. Imran Khan was being enticed out of his room by both Indian and Pakistani players. He was the captain, and he was a reserved individual. The cricketers were attempting to enter his room from both sides in order to put colour on him.

Javed Miandad kept the show going well after the Holi festivities were over, according to More. Players from both teams had a ball the day before the last Test, but they couldn't get a shy Imran out of his hotel room despite numerous attempts.

The two sides were playing bhangra music, and a couple of the players' friends attended the celebration, and everyone had a great time. The Indian and Pakistani cricketers went back on the field the next day for the next Test match.

More went on to say that he was amazed at how, on the field, both teams wanted to win, and sledging was rampant at the time from both sides, but that off the field, they had a terrific time and that the memories of that specific Holi celebration will live on in his mind forever.

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