'The best remedy is to play'

The BCCI's decision to invite Pakistan for a bilateral series was welcomed by former players and cricket aficionados from both countries

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 16, 2012

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A

The crowd applauds a boundary, India v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, World Cup 2011, Mohali, March 30, 2011
"The goodwill the series will generate will be huge" © Getty Images

"We are delighted with this invitation and development and see it as a big ice-breaker in revival of bilateral ties between the two countries. The BCCI invitation today is the result of some really hard work put in by both boards in the last few months to resume bilateral ties. I am sure millions of cricket fans in both countries will be happy with this decision."
PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf

"The competition in such a series is so high that it's important for the players. And players from both the sides miss such matches and they want to be part of it."
Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq

"It eventually would give both sides a chance to communicate and let people establish contact with each other - that is a positive sign. This overall is a stepping stone for the uphill task of bringing teams to Pakistan."
Former Pakistan batsman Aamer Sohail

"It will be interesting, Pakistan is playing their home series in India. It will mean a lot to the two nations. And the amount of interest and the goodwill it will generate will be huge. Lots of positives will come out of it and it is a step in the right direction."
Former India spinner Bishan Bedi

"One must give credit to [Zaka] Ashraf for his wholehearted efforts to revive Indo-Pak cricket. That paid off today."
Former Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad

"The best remedy is to play. At least the country will be busy watching cricket. It will be good for cricket and the Indo-Pak relationship. Both the countries should be playing cricket every year. It is a very good sign."
Former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas

"For a while we thought Ind v Aus could make up for it..but the Ind v Pak 2011 WC semi final reminded us Ind-Pak will always be special."
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar on Twitter

"I think cricket will open further doors like trade and co-operation in tackling terrorism in both the countries. India should also be given the option of playing at the neutral venues like the UAE."
Former Pakistan bowler Abdul Qadir

"This is a statement of intent more than it is a cricket tour. Takes me back to the South African tour of 1992, which seemed similar in intent."
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle on Twitter

"Being a Mumbaikar I feel, what is the urgency when there is no co-operation [regarding the probe into the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008] from the other side?"
Former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2012, 20:44 GMT)

@ SG , cooperation is needed on srilanka team attacks and other numerous indian sponsored attacks , in pak .. yes what is the urgency when ther is no cooperation from other side ( India )

Posted by   on (July 19, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

literally insane comments from SG !!! cricket is the best remedy, if we start worrying about the political things then there wont be any cricket ever b/w the two countries... people with the caliber lyk that of SG should be more sensitive on these issues

Posted by   on (July 19, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

SG is trying gain political respect. Even though india vs Pakistan is something entire world want to see. indopak series is bigger than ashes. SG should keep his comments to himself. Ind board must be making move to revive good cricketing relationship with pakistan.Its very important for india and pakistan to play eachother regularly. We all want this series and many more to go on.

Posted by Saud on (July 19, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Yes, there should not be any Cricket till the resolving of Mumbai issue, Kashmir issue, Siachin issue, water issues, border issues etc etc. Yes, but business can be done as it is matter of money and not emotions?????

Posted by Commenter123 on (July 18, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

SG is from Mumbai. He knows the pain first-hand. If anyone accuse him of getting "cheap publicity", "politicking" or "trying to keep peace from happening" should really think, what would they do if it happened it in their hometown. Someone said Cricket does not hurt people or has side effects. Tell that to Srilankan team.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (July 18, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

@billy_bilal: Evn though I agree with teh fact that sports and politics should not be mixed together but then cricket alone does not resolve all the issues that you have stated. If that was the case why did it take the PAK PM to talk to BCCI for cricket but no cooperation was xtended to bring to justice the people who carried out Mumbai 2008. Explain Why the respective countiries PM's were at the WC semi final in 2011. You and I both know very well that unfortunately politics is part of evthg in our region and our day-to-day lives. IMO the intense htrd between our two nations is also politically motivated. Cricinfo Pl post.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

I agree with SG. Wats hurry as if we dont enuf on our plate. That too sandwiching between tight End and Aus Series.

Posted by AniketRaut on (July 18, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

I can't agree more with Gavaskar on this topic.

Posted by Vilander on (July 18, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Indians who say 'cant wait to see pak in india' etc. should think about 2011. I know scores of people who are planning to boycot the series and ipl. Time will tell.

Posted by billy_bilal on (July 18, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

of all people, it had to be Sunny to oppose Indo Pak series. Unbelievable! he is perhaps the most respected indian player in Pakistan and its surprising to hear his views about ties with Pak. I would have thought that a cricketer with his standing would know better than to mix cricket with Politics. India and Pak don't just have one issue to resolve, there are numerous others namely kashmir, Water etc etc.If you start mixing Politics and Cricket, there will never be Cricket between these two countries. If you want to wait for Cricket to start after resolving all outstanding issues then it wont happen in our life time.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Sunial Gavaskar has tried to get cheap publicity by opposing the restoration of cricketing ties between Pakistan & India..

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

please tell me WC 1992, what was the venue of this match , and in which year , is it true or you are just saying it as for fun . Please kindly reply..?

Posted by venkatesh018 on (July 18, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

What will be the reactions of these experts to the scheduling of this Pakistan series, if India lose both the home series against England and Australia? I know the reaction of the BCCI. They simply Won't Care. The would have achieved their real objective: Fast-tracking Pakistan players into IPL 6.

Posted by indiaworldchamps2011 on (July 18, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

I completely agree with Sunil gavaskar .. the reason for which the bilateral ties were stopped have not come to any closure yet so why this series . Cricket is never going to solve any problems coz if it cud it wud have been done years ago country and people's sentiments are much more important than playing cricket . I wonder if the people supporting the series wud hv said the same thing if one of their dear ones were injured

Posted by gyusuf6 on (July 17, 2012, 23:20 GMT)

To all cricket fans, i honestly see points from both sides. Sunny's comment does have a point and i sincerely hope one day both countries co-operate and bring Justice to Mumbai incident. Not a single decent human being in this world would accept violence, period. At the same token, I feel this could be a step towards that goal as long as the two governments do their best. In crickets point of view, the whole world will enjoy the competition, hopefully a lots of young talents will emerge(both teams need to get rid of some old duds and bring some exciting young talents), see some really really good batting and bowling from both sides. I know i will enjoy. Good luck to both of the teams.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (July 17, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

@Imranzia: I am sure u r misinformed..BCCI is not cash hungry but the dynamics of cricket in my country is such that BCCI generates ~ 70-75% of world cricketing revenue. Everyone knows this including Eng and Australia. We really don't need PAK to come to India to generate more money. Have some data to back your claims. It will be a mouth watering prospect for other countries Should India play the host for Pak series aganst them as the respective board including PCB will make more money than if the series were held in PAK. Yes, like everyone else our team is on the decline as we are now in the re-building process and we need to find young talents who can gel together and start delivering results. It will take time but we will be back.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

The Indian public will probably give its verdict on the resumption of ties when the matches are actually held. Right now, there seems to be quite an amount of negativity about this decision, with a lot of people expressing their opinion that they would be boycotting the series both on TV as well as stadiums. My personal opinion is not so important in the whole scheme of things, though I do feel a bit short-changed by this decision.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

Can't wait to see Pak players in IPL now. What a sight would it be if Afridi and Gambhir play on the same team and celebrate together the dismissal of Sehwag or Akmal!

Posted by   on (July 17, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Well said Sunny. From a fellow Mumbaikar.

Posted by kamalder on (July 17, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

its a dream series... what i m dreaming is.... india wins the series...and KASAB handed over a trophy to MS....Harsha interviewd KASAB insted of Man of the series Kohli..... thats what indian govt design for 26/11 victim

what a Brave Government

Posted by Cricket_Man on (July 17, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Most of the Pakistani fans want this series and most of the Indians want justice regarding the terror acts. Cricket, cricketers or Pakistani public wanting this series can't give justice. Pakistani people themselves are protesting every other day and nobody listens. As political ties are improving so should cricketing. Indian fans, if you want to blame, then blame Pakistani government not Pakistan and their fans. If Pak hockey players, Rahat Fateh Ali, Ali Zafar and for that matter Venna Malik can go and work in India, which Indians enjoy and appreciate, then why not cricketers. Especially if WASIM AKRAM can go and teach the art of swing to Indian bowlers. Please don't make exceptions. Thank you !

Posted by vinodkd99 on (July 17, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

@WC1992: Talk about Gavaskar to all the great fast bowlers of Windies. 13 centuries in 27 test matches against Marshall, Holding, Garner, Roberts, Hall and company. I suppose even Bradman may not have achieved all this. Nothing more to say.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

I personally think that this is the right time for both countries to settle down their clashes and make this tour successful and arrange this every year.

Posted by satish619chandar on (July 17, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

@Imranzia : I dont think so.. I guess u r speaking referring to the TV rating dip.. This year IPL was a massive hit if you include the internet following as well.. Plus, did u notice the crowd in almost every game.. If we take TV rating for any other tournament alone as a measure for success, it will fall way below the IPL ratings.. And, BCCI could have easily done it by scheduling a series with BD if it was money alone.. BD too has very hungry passionate serious followers these days..

Posted by Noball_Specialist on (July 17, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Gavaskar will be the first to sign that commentators contract and be ready to applaud "magnificent" and "great" cricket shots.

Posted by Imranzia on (July 17, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

IndnCrktfan: sour grapes? i was never going to be invited to play. It is an indian tournament and they reserve the right to play whoever they want. But one feels this year has not been the best for cash hungry BCCI and the indian team as a product.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

Mr. Gavaskar! why did u not raise the voice against trade which is going on between the two nations, the voice against the delegations touring Pakistan? I think if there is no cricket then better is that there should be no relations... at any level!

Posted by   on (July 17, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Mr. Gavaskar is wrong beacuse his comments do not make sense .All we need is entertainment and brings in lots of Business too and ODI's which are dieing needs a series like this to revive Cricket .

Posted by shaantanu on (July 17, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

@wc1992:check ur memory.it was srikanth not gavaskar

Posted by atta4627 on (July 17, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Its good to see both nations together again

Posted by Sandstorm82 on (July 16, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

Sunil is entitled to his opinion however politics and sports need to be separated. After all neither the Pakistan squad nor the majority of the Pakistani population had a hand in the Mumbai attacks.

Posted by basophil on (July 16, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

@Muhammad Adeel Ahmed you are perhaps forgetting that India beat Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final; if that wasn't a convincing win, India thrashed Pakistan in the Asia Cup by chasing 330 comfortably

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

If one looks at the chronology of the terrorist attacks in India, they have always followed the resumption of the cricket ties between Indo Pak...I hope there is a break in the logic now.

Posted by torsha on (July 16, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

Love to see Ind-Pak series but agree with Gavaskar too. Questions arise everytime when Zaheer Abbas tells something. He was the one who was in favor to move out world cup 2011 from sub-continent because pakistan stripped off from hosting matches and he blamed India too along with ICC. Anyways great effort from BCCI for this tour.

Posted by Master01 on (July 16, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

This is riddiculous. How can we do this? Im ashamed to call myself an Indian today.

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (July 16, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

Imranzia- why are pakistans players begging to be allowed to play in the ipl then?

Posted by wc1992 on (July 16, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

You would expect that fron sunil ....never really made to list of any great apart from static just like tundulker .... remember the incident where he was plumb LBW and he cried like baby and the great man Imran Khan called him back only to be catch out on very next ball HHHAHAHAHHAHA

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

Shame to see all indians supporting gavaskar comments , where is aman ki asha this time ?? It seems india never wants cricket ties to resume or is it a fear that Pakistan will beat them on their own soil ?

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (July 16, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

@Imranzia: u must be joking to say IPL did not cash in. case of sour grapes for you no wonder.

Posted by applethief on (July 16, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

Gavaskar still wanting to be part of the problem, and not the solution. Disappointing, but then, that's Gavaskar for you

Posted by ac_Indian on (July 16, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Zaheer Abbas here. I love to see any good cricket involving India, which includes Ind-Pak. If he is referring to cricket as a remedy for political tensions, then I am afraid but for me as an Indian, cricket is not a remedy. The remedial actions for the political tension since the events of 2008 are different. Cricket is just cricket, a sport we love. I support Ind-Pak series, but not in December. As a cricket fan, I want Indian team to not loose even an iota of focus from England's tour, we need to pay them back (English cricket team) as much as we can.

Posted by ac_Indian on (July 16, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

@Imranzia, sorry dude.. I hate to say this but that's not the case. I hope you realize that the world is not always driven by conspiracy theories.

Posted by Imranzia on (July 16, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

The IPL did not live upto BCCI's expectations, TV ratings for India bilateral series vs other countries is nothing to speak of. I think it is done to compensate the sponsors so they can make a little money and hype over cricket.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

its funny how the blogger of this piece has included Gavaskar's comments on the list just gives a bad taste in the mouth sorry mate but it is out of place for me to put something like that on a piece that has such encouraging remarks and comments by others. Lets not get political about things we do not know and understand dude.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

Gavaskar , you are a cricketer..... Cricket and Politics should be kept separate......if you mix the two there would be a chaos........

Posted by mumbaiguy79 on (July 16, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Agree with Gavaskar here. Nothing is more valuable than human life and the justice aspect of it. But I guess folks have to understand that BCCI's decision was probably made after the Indian Govt gave the go ahead.

Nothing against the Pak Cricket team. I have the same adoration for "some" of them as I do for the indian cricketers.

Posted by golgoal on (July 16, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

@AbhijeetC : I agree. And I am pretty sure that there is going to be much louder public outcry in India. I won't be surprised at all if BCCI has to back down. Honestly, people in India are hurt, and will always be because of what happened in Mumbai. I think that single incident has set back India-Pak relation by 25 years. Sorry, but this is the truth.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

cricket is just a game, a entertainer, a timepass no need to bring politics into it!lets sit back and enjoy!IND FAN

Posted by late_reverse_swing on (July 16, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Gavaskar does have a point. But, I am sure he would have done full 180 degree U turn by the time the commentary team is announced. Lets see if he stands by his words.

Posted by iHitWicket on (July 16, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

I don't know if this is a good step. While it is understood that Pakistan cricketers are blameless for what ever Pakistan insurgents did in Mumbai, wouldn't letting this happen mean India softening its stand? I have sympathy for Pakistan's cricket, but can't forget how un-cooperative the Pakistan government is. And why are Pakistan VS India matches intense? It's due to the rivalry between the countries. It will be even more intense now, because of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. It's silly that former cricketers are applauding this series as its more intense that Aus VS Ind. Aus VS Ind cricket is intense because of all the right reasons (mostly); whereas Ind Vs Pak is intense because of the wars India and Pakistan had in the past and because of all terror attacks on Indian soil. Any game which is intense because of mutual hatred can hardly be a step towards peace. Have to side with Gavaskar on this.

Posted by sheikhs27 on (July 16, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Going by Gavaskar, India should refuse to playany sport /establish or maintain any contact with Pakistan till things are resolved.But if India is playing all other sports,is establishing/maintaining all other contacts, why is cricket held hostage???Stop petty politics

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

gavaskar z right !!!! wounds r still frsh...we r nt n ne financial prob also..

Posted by sharpfielder on (July 16, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Thank you Sunil Gavaskar for speaking my mind!

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

It seems Sunil Gavaskar never wanted this series to happen ?

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 16, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

I think Gavaskar is in need of amnesty here, but honestly he has a fair point, but then again its just a sport, playing sports never comes with side effects and only good will come out of it, people in Pakistan have suffered far more than the people of Mumbai (not a justification for what happened though), we are neighbors, we need to find a way of living with each other, breading hostility and vengeance will lead no where. Punishing fans of the game in both countries by choosing not to play will only worsen it. A pak fan!

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (July 16, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

This great great news for cricket world. I cannot wait for this series to happen This is wow moment. Thanks BCCI and PCB. Great job.

Posted by AbhijeetC on (July 16, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

true sentiment by Gavaskar, I support Gavaskar's comment. We need justice and there should be No Cricket till Pak Act.

Posted by VSinha29 on (July 16, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

There are not many times when I agree with Sunil Gavaskar but I feel he is right this time.

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