India should play bilateral series or cut off all ties with Pakistan: Shoaib Akhtar

Written by Vipin Darwade

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has once again batted for the resumption of the bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan. The two countries have not engaged in a bilateral series since 2012 with the arch-rivals meeting only in major ICC competitions.

Recently an ‘unofficial team’ from India travelled to Pakistan without the permission of the authorities to take part in an ‘unauthorised’ Kabaddi World Cup. Despite a ban on sporting ties, the ‘unofficial’ kabaddi team reached Pakistan without the permission of the Indian government with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju claiming that India had not permitted any player to travel to Pakistan.

Akhtar’s comments on the bilateral series between India and Pakistan came after the ‘unofficial’ Indian kabaddi team returned back from Pakistan on Monday after losing narrowly in the final. In a video on his YouTube channel, Akhtar said that India and Pakistan should cut all ties including trade and others if they don’t want to play a bilateral cricket series. He urged the two nations to play on a neutral venue if not in India or Pakistan.

“We can trade with each other, play kabaddi, play Davis Cup but why can’t we play cricket? If India do not want to come to Pakistan and Pakistan don’t want to go to India then a bilateral series can be played at a neutral venue like the Asia Cup,” said Akhtar.

“If India and Pakistan can’t play cricket, they should not trade, play kabaddi or do anything between them. Politics is played whenever it’s about cricket between India and Pakistan. It’s important for the two teams to play a bilateral series as it raises great revenue, increases fan following and new players emerge by soaking in the pressure,” he added.

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Vipin Darwade