December 5, 2008

Former Pakistan Cricketer and Selector Shahfqat Rana Talks about Upcoming Pakistan-India Series

Shahfqat Rana, a former Pakistan cricketer and selector, said that India’s scheduled tour of Pakistan in January-February is very important for the future of Asian cricket. Following the Mumbai terror attacks, the future of cricket in Asia has been in an uncertainty. England’s upcoming test series in India is now doubtful. Earlier this year, Australia postponed their tour of Pakistan due to security concern following a series of bomb blasts in Pakistan. Later on, pre-scheduled ICC Champions Trophy, which was due to take place in September in Pakistan, was also postponed by ICC as several cricket playing nations complained about the security condition of the country. So, India’s tour of Pakistan at the beginning of next year is not yet confirmed.

Dailytimes reported:

“But if India refuse to tour Pakistan then this would hurt not only our relations but also cricket, it would mean that we have given in to terrorists,” added Shafqat. He cited example when Pakistan, under Wasim Akram, undertook tour of India in 1999 despite threats from Hindu fundamentalists, playing the first cricket series between the two countries after a decade-long deadlock due to political tension.

He said cricket meant everything in the sub-continent. “It has built bridges, has averted wars on several occasions and has brought people of both countries closer. People love and worship cricket, so it would be a great loss if there is no cricket between the countries.”

Yes, I agree with Shahfqat Rana on this regard. However, I am not yet sure if India would proceed to Pakistan on the tour in which the two neighboring countries would take on each other in a five-match ODI series, three-match test series and an international Twenty20 match. Now, let us see if Indian government allows Indian team to tour Pakistan in January.