Pakistan in India 2012-13 July 17, 2012

No room for sentiment over Pakistan series - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said the mixed reactions to the BCCI's decision to host Pakistan in December-January for a limited-overs series have had no effect on the team. "We are professional cricketers," Dhoni told reporters in Chennai prior to the national team's departure to Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series and a T20 international. "The series will have to be played and we have to get ready for it. Sentiment does not play any part since we are taught to be professionals on field."

While many former cricketers welcomed the BCCI's decision, some, like Sunil Gavaskar and Kirti Azad, were critical, questioning the move - which revives bilateral cricketing ties after five years - due to outstanding differences between the countries since the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

The series against Pakistan is part of a hectic new season for India, who host New Zealand after returning from Sri Lanka, play the World T20, then host England and Pakistan. "We have to be positive and we have to understand that we are representing the country. It will be a bit tough because of the hectic schedule but we have to do well against Pakistan also."

The decision was hailed by Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain and now a prominent politician. "I welcome India's decision to revive cricket with Pakistan," Imran told reporters in Karachi. "Anything which can bring both the countries to negotiations and normalcy is very good and we must appreciate that.

"The prospect of India and Pakistan playing against each other is a good news for international cricket because these matches are followed by millions across the world. The Indo-Pak matches are special because of the high tension and whoever deals with that extreme pressure comes out as the winner."

Pakistan last played a match in India during the 2011 World Cup, in the semi-final in Mohali. The game was attended by the Prime Ministers of both countries. Since then, a Pakistan team, Sialkot Stallions, has been allowed to participate in the Champions League T20 to be held in South Africa later in the year.

"That semi-final in Mohali is a good example of the tension and the excitement. India committed a lot of mistakes in that match but they won because Pakistan made more mistakes in comparison."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muthuvel on July 19, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Ind-pak is not very interesting honestly, its more like ind-sl pretty stale. Pak-eng ind-aus is more interesting.

  • Denham on July 19, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    I am a proud Sri lankan who backs my team to the hilt. We love our Lions whether we win or lose. We don't burn their houses down when they lose, what we do is encourage them by standing by them. We also like our fellow Asian cricketers from PAK, IND and BAN, but what I hate to read is all this nonsence by big talking Indian Brothers. I think you Indians and Pakistanis should put aside your political differences and start playing matches more often than not. We South Asians are plagued with political interference in our sport which is not a good sign at all. All the best team SL and IND in the 5 ODI's and the T20 and look forward to the PAK/IND matches as well. Thanks

  • Manesh on July 19, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Pakistan ranked higher than India - thats a joke. It is because of India were not playing cricket!. Check how many times India beat Pakistan recently!

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ Rafelgibt : Just like the charm was missing during 90s when mighty Pakistani team used to stomped over India with time to time ?

  • Sayyed Azhar on July 18, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    I personally feel this whole Pakistan vs India cricket thing is a bit over hyped. Sure it is nice to have competition and rivalry in sport and especially in cricket. But I feel that due to all the non-cricketing issues involved, the sports aspect tends to take a backseat. Why can't the two teams play a cricket match for sporting reasons only and not be unnecessarily burdened by the weight of history and past/present misgivings.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Haha yes Suri, what's different is the fact that you guys don't get to go home disappointed to the core after every game anymore.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on July 18, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Come on..........Whats the big deal for IND cricketers to play against PAK???No hard feelings but PAK vs. IND lost its charms as PAK fail to produce genuine world class players........Last few years PAK is longer good enough to beat IND on regular basis..........Its simply a profit making process of BCCI.........All the best to BCCI.......

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Professional is a word to camouflage everything you otherwise would not do. Professional word is being misused frequently nowadays, Dhoni & his boys are no exception. Showing false sympathy to Bombay victims & when the time comes for them to stand by the public sentiment they use the word "Professional". It is time to boycott Ind-Pak matches as even our cricketers feel they are aloof & are behaving like sub-humans especially (Dhoni, Gambhir & Kohli). Sachin is the voice of India, he should be asked to take a stand. He is the perfect representative of India. Pakistan has not done anything to get a cricket match after 5 years, they deserve no compassion.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @Shez Khan : Pak may be ranked higher than India in Tests and T20... but I think you forgot that this is an ODI series (50overs)!!

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Smithie: Dhoni is indeed professional. Once make flaw-less DRS and he will accept it. (This is Being Professional ) ! and not using DRS doesn't give advantage to India lol !bTW, I being an Indian fan support DRS !

  • No featured comments at the moment.