Laxman opens up on the Champions Trophy and whether India should play bilateral series against Pakistan

“I am very confident that India will do well in the Champions Trophy and will defend the title”

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Former India batsman VVS Laxman has backed India to win the Champions Trophy, which starts today.

India, who are the defending champions, will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on Sunday.

When questioned who will win, Laxman was quick to voice his support for India, who have come out on top against Pakistan in their last three meetings at the 2015 World Cup, 2016 Asia Cup and last year’s World Twenty20.

After their clash with Pakistan, India will take on Sri Lanka and South Africa on June 8 and 11 respectively.

“I am very confident that India will do well in the Champions Trophy and will defend the title,” Laxman said. “It’s going to be a very good game. The match against Pakistan will be highly intense. It will be a packed house at Birmingham.

“If we (India) play to our potential, we will definitely go and win the game.”

Meanwhile, Laxman also backed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to not play any bilateral series with Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have not played any bilateral series since 2012, but the BCCI and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2014, which stated that the two nations would play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.

The BCCI, however, have failed to adhere to the MoU thus far and made it clear that they will not restore relations with the PCB until they get clearance to do so from the government.

Despite this, officials from both boards met in Dubai on Monday to discuss about the potential resumption of ties and bilateral series.

“I think I always enjoyed playing against Pakistan, but it is very important to respect whatever the government’s decision is because it is beyond sport at the moment,” Laxman said.

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