Former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi speaks on the recent rumours of a T20I series to be staged between India and Pakistan before the T20 World Cup. If that happens, it would be the first time since 2013 that both the Asian giants will compete in a bilateral series.
Shahid Afridi reckons cricket should not suffer because of the political tensions between the two nations; since 2007 only once have the Men in Blue and the Men in Green competed in a bilateral series. Pakistan toured India for 2 T20Is – ended 1-1 – and a 3-match ODI series – which the visitors won 2-1 – in 20102/13. Otherwise, these two proud cricketing nations have faced each other only in the ICC tournaments, and Asia Cup.
While India has had the upper hand in the World Cups, their neighbours got the better of them in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. Afridi believes that the relations between the two countries can be improved by the bilateral cricket series.
“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,” Shahid Afridi told ‘Cricket Pakistan’.
Indian cricketers enjoy coming to Pakistan: Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi, who has played a total of 83 games against India, asserts that the Indian cricketers have earlier liked coming and playing in Pakistan. India’s last tour of their neighbours was in 2005/06 – the hosts won the Test series while the visitors claimed the ODIs.
The 41-year-old feels that the governments are not allowing the bilateral series to happen, because they don’t want the relations between the two countries to get better.
“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,” the former all-rounder added.
India and Pakistan are supposed to meet each other in the Asia Cup – however, with Virat Kohli’s side reaching the final of the World Test Championship, the Asia Cup may get scrapped this year. That would mean that the next meeting of the two Asian countries would be straightaway in the T20 World Cup in India.