Karachi:Former captain Moin Khan has said that emotional intensity witnessed during the India-Pakistan Asia Cup clash on Saturday was the result of no bilateral cricket being played between the two countries since 2007.
"There is always a lot at stake in an Indo-Pak match no matter how much one tries to say it is just another cricket encounter. The high degree of emotion involved in the match was proof of that," Moin said.
"When we regularly play bilateral matches the players get used to the tension and pressure situation. People on both sides also get used to accepting that in sports one team has to lose," he noted.
The match, which India won by three wickets in the final over, saw verbal clashes between Kamran Akmal and Gautam Gambhir and Shoaib Akhtar and Harbhajan Singh.
The umpires, Billy Bowden and Doctrove had to intervene to separate the players.
The Indian government has not allowed bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The Asia Cup match was only the second clash between the two arch-rivals since September last year when they played in the Champions Trophy in South Africa.
"But since we are now back again and playing against each other rarely, obviously emotions run high and we saw it last night," Moin said.
The former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman, however, said that there was a responsibility on the players to control their emotional outbursts on the field.
"Personally I like these incidents because it shows how committed the players of both sides are to win. But at the end of the day we have to realise that there are millions watching the match and many youngsters who idolise the players. So the players need to be careful and don't let things get out of their hands," he said.
Moin felt that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar should have shown more restraint in the final overs of the match.
"One should have remained calm and composed in the pressure cooker situation. Maybe the frustration of not getting the wicket got to him."
Moin praised the Pakistan team's overall effort and their fighting spirit and said, "though India won but Pakistani players fought hard."