Pakistan news

Ashraf plans on visiting India in December

Umar Farooq in Dubai

November 18, 2011

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

India and Pakistan's blind cricketers meet in a match, Lahore, November 18, 2011
India and Pakistan's blind cricketers met in a match in Lahore on Friday © AFP
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Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, has said he has received a positive response from the BCCI to his letter to them requesting discussions on restarting India-Pakistan cricketing ties. Ashraf said the BCCI had invited him to have talks on the subject and he hoped to visit India in December.

"I have high hopes of reviving ties with India," Ashraf told reporters during the third ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in Dubai. "I have received a positive reply from India today and hope to go there next month."

Ashraf's comments came on a day when India and Pakistan's blind cricketers played a match in Lahore. "When we play India in events like kabaddi and blind cricket why not top-level cricket when India v Pakistan is already regarded as the most sought after series in the game," Ashraf said.

According to the ICC's Future Tours Programme, Pakistan are scheduled to tour India for three Tests and five ODIs in March-April 2012, but there is uncertainty over whether that series will take place as the Indian government has not yet cleared it. Relations between India and Pakistan broke down after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Since then there have been no bilateral series between the two countries and the only three meetings have come in tri-series or ICC events.

Ashraf, who was appointed PCB chairman in October, said one of the things foremost on his agenda was to revive cricket between India and Pakistan. He cited the fact that India and Pakistan's hockey teams still play each other regularly as a reason why the BCCI should agree to a series on either Indian or neutral soil.

"The people of India and Pakistan should not be deprived of this great contest" Ashraf had said during the second Pakistan-Sri Lanka ODI in Dubai. "Even in the UAE we used to have good matches between India and Pakistan and the stadiums used to be full. But now the crowds here are not that much because the biggest enthusiasm for the game is always for India-Pakistan. If India and Pakistan can play hockey in Pakistan and India, why can't they play cricket? That is my question for the Indian cricket board. "

He reiterated those desires on Friday and said he hoped to meet the president of the Indian board N Srinivasan when he visited India.

Indian ambassador to the UAE, Kapanaiah Lokesh, met Ashraf in Dubai on Friday, and said he would convey the sentiments of the people in the UAE to authorities in New Delhi. "India playing Pakistan is the highlight of international cricket and in the recent positive atmosphere between the two countries it is conducive to play cricket and I will convey this to New Delhi," Lokesh said.

"Cricket is in the blood of people in both the countries and it can be used as soft diplomacy as in the past; the relationship has improved in the past as well through cricket."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

its a great news.....plz keep politics away from cricket........

Posted by tick on (November 19, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

test cricket needs pak and india series..indian crowds need pakistan india series..now that pakistan have started to climb up in ranking and performance..pak india series will be the hottest series..what better to watch then junais khan talent's,cheema's enthusiasm,ajmals off spin and gul's nipping bowling against indian greats..the series is part of FTP..and please don't start bashing each other on politics..

Posted by Naresh28 on (November 19, 2011, 8:30 GMT)

Such a series will revive test cricket. Just like the ashes series.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

Must be a great spectacle to see Umar Gul and Pakistani talent like Saeed Ajmal bowling to Sehwag and Gambhir at top and then there is the class of Tendulkar and Laxman. But i srill believe that Indian team is far more experienced to cope with any India- Pakistan encunter. Pakistan team lost World Cup semifinal because they did not have enough experience to deal with an India- pakistan encunter. One might say that there were names like Yunous and Shahid. But both of these players palyed there India- Pakistan matches under the formidable guidance of Wasim bhai and Moin Khan. So for them to personally or individually deal with that euphoria of India- Pakistan matches was asking too much. Pakistan needs to bring back great Mohmmed Yousuf in their ranks. He'll be player that would make difference at any level against any opposition. During 90's Pakistan always use to have mental advantage Over indians . Now its other way round.

Posted by agam99 on (November 19, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

Agreed with donda. Indo-Pak series is a must now

Posted by   on (November 19, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

as cricket again started at Sharjah Stadium we need Pak-Ind series here, and everyone like to c sehwaq and current indian team here, @SangakaraFan why all srilankan supporting only pakistan!!!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 19, 2011, 1:35 GMT)

YES YES YES , I WANT IND-PAK SERIES . EVERY IND-PAK MATCH IS EXCITING TO WATCH . ALSO PAKISTAN ARE IN PRETTY GOOD FORM WITH ONE OF THE FINEST BOWLING ATTACK IN THE WORLD AND INDIA ARE ALWAYS GOOD AT HOME . IT WILL BE A EXCITING SERIES . BUT I HAVE A PROBLEM TO PLAY ASERIES IN APRIL WHEN IT IS TOO HOT IN INDIA . THE TEMPRETURE WILL GO UPTO 40 DEGREES . IT WILL BE HARD TO PLAY . ALSO BCCI HVE A RUBBISH SCHEDULED IPL IN APRIL . BUT I WILL PRAY FOR SERIES TO HAPPEN .

Posted by   on (November 18, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

Pakistan will defeat England in UAE early next year. This would make Pakistan_India series most exciting to watch. There is no substitute for India-Pakistan, England_Australia, Australia-India series. That is where the Cricket is all about for the a vast majority of Cricket fans.

Posted by Semoli on (November 18, 2011, 22:58 GMT)

@SangakaraFan, I second with you, why fly when you can talk on the phone....

Posted by donda on (November 18, 2011, 20:12 GMT)

I say quit all cricket matches and start indo-pak series. Every other match is worthless.

My heart is not pounded in last three years at all when watching cricket (other than SF of WC). My blood needs indo pak series, peace should be the motto of the series and i would love to see a full 5 test, 5 odi and 5 t2020 series between these two.

Who ever wins, the heart should beat and blood should flow because it's getting boring now. Come on.

Come on india , just move on and let us play some good mind blowing cricket again.

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