Kolkata: A buzz of a short bi-lateral T20 series between India and Pakistan later this year have cropped up after quite a while - prompting former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi to say that frosty relations between the two countries can improve through cricket.
A report in Pakistan’s Jang newspaper quoted a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official as saying that their cricket board had been asked to “be ready” for a series with India, though no one from India has made any commitment to the series.
“A PCB official said that while there has been no direct discussion with anyone from India, indications are there and we have been told to be ready for such a series,” said the report in the Urdu newspaper. The UAE’s name, which had hosted India-Pakistan matches as late as in 2018 during the Asia Cup, is being tossed around as a neutral venue.
“Cricket between Pakistan and India is very important. Sports should be kept away from politics. Relations between the two countries can improve because of cricket,” Afridi told Cricket Pakistan.
Cricket between Pakistan and India is very important. Sports should be kept away from politics. Relations between the two countries can improve because of cricket
“I have said this before as well, Indian cricketers enjoy coming to Pakistan. You can improve relationships through sports but if you don’t want to improve them then they will remain the same way,” he further said.
However, the Indian and Pakistan boards have said they have no knowledge of any development on the resumption of the bilateral cricket.
A top Indian cricket official told IANS: “No, we have no information on India playing a series with Pakistan.”
Pakistan’s Geo TV quoted PCB chairman Ehsan Mani as saying that they have not been contacted by anyone for a possible India-Pakistan series and neither has he been part of any discussion with his Indian counterpart on the issue. With the T20 World Cup due in India in October-November, where the International Cricket Council will be definitely working to schedule a marquee India-Pakistan game at the league stages, the possibility of a short series between them is anybody’s guess.