Kiran More, the former India wicketkeeper, has looked back at the time players from India and Pakistan played Holi together during a rest day in the 1986-97 series.
More, speaking on the Greatest Rivalry podcast series that looks at the India-Pakistan battles over the years, said it was a hard-fought contest in 1986-87 – Pakistan won the five-match series 1-0 – and that “sledging was huge” on the field.
But there was camaraderie between the sides off it, with relationships peaking ahead of the final Test in Bangalore as the teams celebrated the festival of Holi. “We were really fighting hard for that whole series, but in that Test match, I’ll never forget that Holi we played on the rest day, with the Indian team and the Pakistani team,” said More.
“[It was] at Bangalore’s Westin hotel, I still remember. The whole hotel was painted red. The swimming pool, all the rooms, every corner of the hotel was painted red. And we had a great time. We [both] Pakistani cricketers and Indian cricketers, we were trying to get Imran Khan out of his room. He was the captain, and he was a shy character. We were trying to get into his room from both sides, and trying to put colour on him.
“He didn’t come out. Javed [Miandad] was instrumental in that Holi time, the whole day, we did Holi together, we had lunch together. Had bhangra music, there were a few friends of ours who joined that party. We had a great time, and next day, we were playing a Test match again.
“On the field, both teams wanted to win, and sledging was huge that time from both sides. Off the field, it was a great time that we had. I’ll never forget that Holi.”