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Ex-Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has admitted that he would love nothing more than to see the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan.
Afridi’s comments come ahead of the Champions Trophy final, where the two nations will go up against each other.
India and Pakistan also met in the group stage of the tournament, which the former won by 124 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
However, the battles between India and Pakistan only occur at major ICC events or at the Asia Cup since the BCCI and PCB’s relationship is currently at rock bottom.
While the PCB are determined to resume bilateral ties through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed in 2014, the BCCI has not responded in kind as they claim the Indian government is preventing them from playing any series against Pakistan.
The MoU the BCCI and PCB both signed stated that the two countries would play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.
“I would want the cricketing world and the ICC to keep a close eye on the significance of an Indo-Pak cricket match of this magnitude and what it means to the fans of the game all around,” Afridi wrote in his column for the ICC website. “I really hope that we see resumption of bilateral cricket between the two countries and would request the Indian cricket board and the Indian government to soften their stance.”
Afridi added that he is hoping the Champions Trophy final will be a stepping stone in bringing India and Pakistan closer, both on and off the field.
“Having captained Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final at Mohali, I know the importance of the game and how it brings the two nations to a standstill while underlining the message of peace and tolerance for each other,” he wrote. “Cricket can be an actual source of bringing the two nations together and reducing the tensions. I, like the rest of the world, can’t wait for the match to start. Let us hope that we see a game of epic proportions that is remembered for a long, long time.”