"It Would Have Been A Step Towards Cricket And Pakistan For India" - Shahid Afridi Urges The Men In Blue To Visit Pakistan For Asia Cup 2023

Updated - 26 Apr 2023, 05:58 PM

Shahid Afridi Rohit Sharma Babar Azam India vs Pakistan
Shahid Afridi Rohit Sharma Babar Azam. Image Credits: Twitter

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are keen to host the Asia Cup 2023 on home soil for the first time in the last 15 years, having last hosted in 2008. However, the tournament is likely to be held at a neutral venue as per present developments. Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi welcomed India to tour Pakistan for the Asia Cup, recalling how well the Men in Blue were treated on their previous visits.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary and ACC president Jay Shah stated last year that Indian players will not travel to Pakistan to participate in the Asia Cup 2023 due to diplomatic tensions and that the tournament will be held in a neutral venue. The PCB reiterated their stance to boycott the ODI World Cup if Team India does not travel to the neighbouring country.

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I Still Have Friends In The Indian Team – Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi believes that the Asia Cup will be the first step in improving bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries. Afridi said that the BCCI is a powerful board, but needs to develop relationships with other countries.

“It would have been really nice if India had come. It would have been a step towards Cricket and Pakistan for India. This is not the generation of wars and fights. We want relationships to get better,” Afridi told the media on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) in Doha.

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“What can we do if we want to befriend someone and he does not talk to us? There is no doubt that the BCCI is a very strong board, but when you are strong, you have more responsibility. You don’t try to make more enemies, you need to make friends. When you make more friends, you become stronger. I still have friends in the Indian team when we meet, we discuss, the other day I met Raina and I asked for a bat, he gave me a bat,” he added.

India have not visited Pakistan for 15 years, and the bilateral series almost ended after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India’s last tour of Pakistan was in 2008 to play the Asia Cup, and the last bilateral series on Pakistani soil was in 2006. The two teams played their last bilateral series in 2012, when Pakistan toured India for the white-ball series. Pakistan last visited India in 2016 for the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahid Afridi The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)