Venkatesh Prasad’s famous send-off to Aamer Sohail remains one of the most talked-about moments in the history of India-Pakistan cricket. During the 1996 World Cup, Sohail had crashed Prasad for a boundary through covers and pointed his fingers at the bowler, almost mocking him to go and fetch the ball from the boundary. However, what happened on the next ball is remembered as one of the greatest comebacks of all time with Prasad knocking over Sohail’s off stump.
24 years later, Prasad recalled the incident, explaining how he continues to be reminded of it on a regular basis. India and Pakistan were playing the quarter-final of the 1996 World Cup and chasing 288 to win, Pakistan had gotten off to a strong start putting 84 runs for the first wicket. Prasad revealed what spurred him after Sohail cracked a boundary off him.
“There’s not even a single day that goes by without anybody, whoever sees me, come what may, would definitely ask me, every single day from the last 24 years,” Prasad said on Fancode.
“He should’ve just gone back to his crease probably after getting that, but there was some exchange of words and a gesture that he made which didn’t really go well. Obviously, with the entire nation and spectators who were watching, and of course, with me as well. My blood was really boiling and we needed a wicket.”
A YouTube video of the incident has received over 1 million views. Prasad confessed he was lucky to escape without any punishment, considering how the ICC Code of Conduct was implemented not too long ago.
“I would’ve been penalised for that sort of gesture because that’s when the ICC Code of Conduct had come into the picture during the ‘96 World Cup; so I had to be very careful. And Shepherd was the umpire, so Azhar, Srinath and Sachin, everybody came to my rescue, otherwise, I would’ve probably been penalised or may be banned,” the former quick added.