December 10, 2012

Pakistan’s former greats Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have expressed their delight at the decision by Pakistan and India to resume their cricketing ties from December 25 with a two-match T20 series and a three-match ODI tournament. In his recent interview, Younis said, “The Indo-Pak cricket match is mother of all games. It’s unfortunate that less cricket was played between the two neighbours since 2004. Hopefully, the upcoming series will herald a new era in Indo-Pak ties.” “You can feel the pressure when the two sides are involved in a contest. There’s nothing much entertaining than that. It’s same as the Ashes series,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wasim, who has been to India for coaching purposes since his retirement, and is also associated with the Kolkata Knight Riders as their bowling coach, while expressing joy at the recent warmth in relations between the two countries said, “It’s a new beginning and I hope that we play each other on a regular basis. The beauty of Indo-Pak series lies in the pressure we go through.” While India and Pakistan have a bitter history since the partition of the two countries back in 1947, cricket has always managed to bring the people from both sides of the border closer to each other. However, in 2008 when Mumbai was ravaged by terrorists, who were later killed with one captured alive, the Indian authorities concluded that they were trained and backed by Pakistan based terror groups.

This was rejected flat-out by Pakistan, nonetheless, the government of India decided to suspended bilateral cricket ties with their arch neighbour. Since then, the two nations have only faced each other in the ICC tournaments, choosing to avoid a bilateral series. However, this year, the efforts of PCB Chairman, Zaka Ashraf, finally broke the ice and convinced the BCCI to resume all ties. It is now expected that the BCCI will send the PCB almost 3000 tickets, to be distributed to Pakistan fans, who will have the luxury of watching the games in India. Apart from Wasim and Waqar former greats from both sides have welcomed the revival of cricket between the two nations.


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