CT 2025: Akram hopes India will play in Pak

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 24, 2024 IST

Wasim Akram

New Delhi, June 24: They do not play each other that often. Bilateral series have stopped between the two neighbours for years due to strained relationships between the two nations. 

Both teams hardly meet, unless they are forced to face each other in an ICC multi-nation tournament. But, unlike three four decades back, there is no serious hostility between the two Asian neighbours during a game of cricket.

However, stakes are always higher and the global cricket fraternity still keeps a close vigil on the match, every time India and Pakistan play each other on a cricket field.

In the ICC T20 Men's World Cup 2024, India and Pakistan were placed in Group A. The low scoring thriller was won by India and Pakistan bowed out unceremoniously from the first round, after losing to the USA. 

The 2025 Champions Trophy is set to be held in Pakistan from February 19 to March 9 and seven countries will be participating in it. The seven countries include India, Australia, England, South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Afghanistan. 

Amidst controversy regarding India’s participation in the tournament, former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram spoke to IANS about the importance of hosting a tournament of this magnitude for the ‘betterment of cricket’ in the country.

 “I hope that India comes to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy. The whole country is looking forward to receiving all the teams. The cricket will be great and we will welcome them in splendid fashion. We have great facilities and are working on new stadiums. The chairman has started work on the new stadiums in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad so I believe it will be a great tournament and Pakistan needs that tournament for the betterment of cricket and I hope all countries do come because cricket and politics should always be separate,” Akram told IANS.

Indian cricketers have not travelled to Pakistan for a bilateral series since 2006. The two sporting rivals have only squared against each other in ICC tournaments since 2013 due to tense relationships between the two countries. As per reports, team India is still reluctant to travel to their neighbouring country which could see the tournament being played in a hybrid mode.

 “Overall everything is ready. The whole country is looking forward to receiving all the teams and dignitaries and the press as well and I hope you guys come to see what wonderful arrangements we have in Pakistan,” added the former captain of the Pakistan national team.

The 2023 Asia Cup was scheduled to take place in Pakistan as well before the BCCI informed that the central government refused to allow the Indian contingent to travel across the border which led to a part of the tournament including all India matches to take place in Sri Lanka.

India and Pakistan have not had bilateral tours in cricket since 2012 and they only play in ICC events. The Pakistan team travelled to India for the 2023 ODI World Cup. The BCCI has always maintained that the team will travel to Pakistan only if allowed by the central government.

India touring Pakistan and playing cricket in the neighbouring country seems bit difficult at this point. 

However, like legendary Wasim Akram several former players across the borders and millions of cricket fans round the globe would be eager to see both neighbours play cricket more frequently. (With IANS support) 

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