India and Pakistan cricket matches are always fun to watch, with the emotions riding high in both countries. Asia Cup 2023 is going to be the hot point of discussion when Asian Cricket Council meets soon in Dubai. The BCCI have flatly refused to tour Pakistan for the Asia Cup, and are looking for a change in venue. The PCB for their part are also threatening not to tour India for the ODI Cricket World Cup to be held later this year.
The story so far –
Former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi has been recently part of the Legends League of Cricket. The tournament had 3 teams, Indian Maharajas, Asian Lions and World Giants. Afridi came across some old rivals like Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. During the course of the tournament, Afridi has been using the platform to advocate for resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan.
Afridi trains his gun on BCCI –
Shahid Afridi without going full throttle on the BCCI decided to take aim at BCCI during a press meet. The former skipper of Pakistan said “Who is saying no to Asia Cup? India is saying no. Aap Indian team ko bheje toh sahi, humlog sar aankhon par rakhenge (You just send the Indian team to Pakistan and we will welcome them with great pleasure).
Soft Persuasion attempt by Afridi –
Indian Government and the BCCI have maintained a stance which has seen them refuse to tour Pakistan. The last time the two teams played was in 2012, when Pakistan came to India for 2 T20 matches and 3 ODI matches. India’s last tour of Pakistan was in 2008 when they played the Asia Cup.
Shahid Afridi referenced the 1999 tour and without naming the person, said that despite the threats Pakistan had toured India. Afridi said “ Before this, an Indian from Mumbai, won't take his name, had threatened Pakistan that they won't be allowed in India. But we kept all aside and our government had taken it up as a responsibility and Pakistan team did go to India. So threats should not ruin our relationship. Threats will remain”. For the unversed the Indian from Mumbai as said by Afridi is none other than the Late Great Shri Bal Thackeray the superemo of Shiv Sena.
Afridi appeals to Indian PM –
This is not the first time in recent few days, Shahid Afridi has appeal to the Indian establishment. Recently while speaking to the media on the side lines at Doha, the venue for Legends League Cricket, Afridi came up with a request.
In a quote by Indian Express, addressing the Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi, the former Pakistan captain said “I will request Modi Sahab to let cricket happen between the two countries. What can we do if we want to befriend someone and he doesn’t talk to us? There is no doubt that the BCCI is a very strong board. But when you are strong you have more responsibility. You don’t try to make more enemies, you need to make friends. When you make more friends, you become stronger”