MUMBAI - Comparing the contest between Pakistan and India to the Ashes, former India batsman VVS Laxman said that India is safe to host the matches and should a bilateral series between the neighbouring countries take place.
The stylish batsman pointed out that the fans enjoyed the game when Pakistan toured India in December 2012 – January 2013 for three ODIs and two T20s. “When Pakistan came for three one-dayers and two T20, the crowd really loved it. I don’t think any problem would be happening. It is like Ashes and everyone looks forward to the Ashes and the England and Australia rivalry and it is traditional rivalry,” he said.
“I think it is the same, on par with the Ashes, the Pakistan India rivalry. I don’t see any problem hosting in India but I am not sure about Pakistan. Ramiz (Raja) is a better person to tell. I know for a fact that since the attack that happened on the Sri Lankan cricket team, lot of players are apprehensive of going there,” Laxman said at the Ceat Cricket Rating awards.
However, former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani suggested that the best way to revive the cricketing ties between Pakistan and India was to host the series at a neutral venue in Asia. “I think that would be the best idea to go about to having a series with Pakistan,” said the former India stumper, who was part of the World Cup winning squad in 1983.
“It should be in a neutral place. It will give an opportunity if Pakistan and India play in Asian countries where the Asian Cricket Council is trying to promote cricket. It will be a wonderful opportunity for those Asian countries to see the top two teams of Asia play one another and that would be a source of inspiration,” he said.
“It must happen because Pakistan-India series is great for the game,” said Ramiz Raja, a former player and cricket commentator.