Former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, has spoken out in support of bilateral cricket between Pakistan and India, which has been halted for over a decade due to political tensions between the neighbors.
While speaking to the media, Afridi stated that bilateral cricket has always improved relations between the arch-rivals and that people in India want to see the Pakistani team play in their country.
In response to the Indian Cricket Board’s refusal to send its team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2023, the former all-rounder said, “It’s not as if we don’t have hosting rights and we’re pleading to host it.”
Shahid Afridi went on to say that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has granted Pakistan the right to host the tournament and that if it is moved to a neutral venue, Pakistan will be the first team to pull out.
The PCB-BCCI relationship deteriorated further after BBCI Secretary, Jay Shah, refused to send the Men in Blue to Pakistan for the upcoming 50-over Asia Cup 2023, which is scheduled for September next year in Pakistan.
Last month, Jay Shah told the media, “Neutral venue for Asia Cup is not unprecedented and we have decided that we will not travel to Pakistan. I have decided that we will play at a neutral venue.”
In response to Jay Shah’s remarks, the Pakistan Cricket Board stated that if the BCCI does not send a team to the Asia Cup in 2023, Pakistan will reciprocate and boycott the 50-over World Cup in India.