We Can't Force India to Play With Pakistan, Says Wasim Akram
New Delhi, Nov 11: There have been constant cries from former Pakistan players for a bilateral series between India and Pakistan, but with the mounting political tensions, the idea looks far-fetched. Legendary pacer Wasim Akram has lashed out at ICC for not being able to strike a deal between BCCI and PCB.
Speaking to Geo TV, Akram said, “I don’t think ICC has the power to pursue BCCI, but again I have always said people-to-people contact is necessary. Politics and sport should be separate.”
With the Ashes series round the corner, the 51-year-old believes that an India-Pakistan series can attract for more viewership, as it is fun to watch. “A Pakistan India match is more fun to watch than the Ashes. 20 million people watch the Ashes while a Pakistan India match is watched by a billion people. If India is not ready to play with Pakistan, we can’t force them to do so,” Akram said.
The BCCI and PCB had signed an MoU, under which both the teams are supposed to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2013, but never really materialised, due to the never-ending tension on the border.
ICC Chief Dave Richardson had earlier said, “If India is not ready to play with Pakistan, we can’t force them to do so. You have to understand that bilateral series is always held with the agreement of two cricket boards and though we would like to see India and Pakistan play bilateral matches they have political tensions and any cricket is dependent on their existing relations,” he added.