‘Can trade onion, tomatoes then why not play cricket?’
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar questioned if two arch-rivals India and Pakistan can engage in all sorts of trades and transact commissaries then why can’t they play cricket.
The last time an India-Pakistan bilateral series took place was in 2012-13 when Pakistan traveled to India for a three-match ODI series and it was back in 2007, when these two countries last played a Test match. Both the countries, however, have been facing each other regularly in ICC tournaments and Asia Cups.
“We can play Davis Cup, we can play Kabaddi with each other then what’s wrong with cricket? I understand India can’t come to Pakistan, Pakistan can’t go to India but we play Asia Cup, Champions Trophy on neutral venues, can’t we do the same for bilateral series?” Akhtar asked.
Recently amateur Kabaddi Federation of India sent an ‘unauthorized’ team to Pakistan for the circle style World Cup in Pakistan.
Akhtar said the two teams should at least consider playing each other in a neutral venue if visiting the other country becomes an issue.
“Pakistan is a very safe place to travel. India’s Kabaddi team came, they got a lot of love, Bangladesh came to play Test cricket. But if there are still doubts then I suggest neutral venues,”
“If you want to cut the ties then stop the trade, stop playing Kabaddi. Why only cricket? Whenever it’s cricket we make it political, it is very disappointing. We eat onions and tomatoes, we exchange pleasantries then why can’t we play cricket?”
“Ask the likes of Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar we love them like anything. Cricket should not get affected by the differences between us. Hopefully, India and Pakistan can play a bilateral series soon and it’s important for both countries to have a tough competition between them,” Akhter added.