The bilateral relations between the Asian neighbors have hit a new low in the past 3-4 years following Pakistan-backed terrorist attacks in Uri, Pathankot, and Pulwama.
The arch-rivals haven’t played a Test series against each other in November 2007 and the last bilateral series between the two countries during the winter of 2012-13 when the Misbah-ul-Haq-led unit toured India for two T20Is and three One-day Internationals.
That series, incidentally, took place when Zaka Ashraf’s tenure as chairman of the PCB. The former chairman also claimed that he has suggested the BCCI name the bilateral series between the two nations in the name of former leaders Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Ashraf claimed that the BCCI was hesitant due to ‘extremist elements’ like the current Indian Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
“I suggested to the BCCI during my tenure that we should hold a Jinnah-Gandhi series, named after the great leaders of the two countries but they were hesitant to go ahead with this proposal because of the extremist elements in India like [Narendra] Modi,” Zaka Ashraf was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“This series would have been similar to what the Ashes is for England and Australia. It would have improved cricketing relations between the two nations and people of both countries would have enjoyed some great cricket,” he added.
Ashraf further reckoned that both countries should play each other at neutral venues but claimed that the main issue is ICC’s rules with regards to the Future Tour Program [FTP] because of which India does not play bilateral cricket with its arch-rival.
“I think India and Pakistan should play at neutral venue, if not on home soil, be it UAE, Sri Lanka, South Africa or any other country. I also think the main issue is that ICC has changed its rules with regards to FTP, primarily due to Indian influence, and allowed members to have the final say on playing bilateral series rather than ensuring that countries play against each other on a regular basis,” he added.