Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi weighed in on the ongoing verbal exchanges between the India and Pakistan cricket boards over their participation in major tournaments.
Afridi argues that even Indians want to see the Men in Green play in their backyard.
Shahid Afridi on India vs Pakistan
India vs. Pakistan is arguably the strongest rivalry in cricket at present. No matter where in the world they play, the stadiums are always completely full when the two teams meet. The sad fact is that India and Pakistan only face each other in multi-team competitions like the World Cup and Asia Cup rather than in bilateral series because of political tensions between the two nations.
The Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled to take place in Pakistan, and if everything goes according to plan, India would finally have visited their neighbor after a 16-year absence. The BCCI secretary Jay Shah had previously stated that India would not travel to Pakistan for the event and that they were looking for an alternate neutral venue. Ramiz Raja, the head of the PCB, threatened to boycott the ODI World Cup 2023, which will be held in India, as a result.
However, in light of Pakistan’s potential withdrawal from the ODI World Cup, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has now claimed that even Indians want to watch the Men in Green play in their own backyard.
“The relations between Pakistan and India have always improved due to cricket. Even Indians want to see Pakistan play cricket in India,” Afridi said.
Pakistan last traveled to India in 2012–13 for two T20Is and three ODIs. This was also the final time the two nations played each other in a bilateral series.
In the last few months of this year, India and Pakistan have faced each other quite a few times. In the Asia Cup, they faced off against each other twice. Pakistan secured a significant victory in the Super Four stage while India won the opening game in the group stage. India, led by Virat Kohli, defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets in their opening encounter of the T2o World Cup 2022.