Miandad backs Tharoor's proposal on Indo-Pak series

Javed Miandad has welcomed Shashi Tharoor's suggestion that series between India and Pakistan could be organised in a neutral venue like USA.

updated: November 01, 2009 11:08 IST
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Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has welcomed Indian Union Minister Shashi Tharoor's suggestion that cricket series between the arch-rivals could be organised in a neutral venue like USA.

Miandad said on Sunday that he would suggest formation of a common cricket council featuring the great players from both India and Pakistan to assist the restoration of bilateral cricket ties.

"If Tharoor means what he has said then it is a welcome and positive sign coming from an Indian minister because Pakistan has never said no to bilateral cricket ties with India," Miandad said.

Miandad, who is also PCB's Director-General (Cricket Operations), said that he would love to see both countries playing cricket anywhere, including the USA.

Pointing out that the USA has many cricket enthusiasts, Minister of State for External Affairs Tharoor, who had his education in the USA, yesterday hoped that an Indo-Pak cricket series would well be appreciated by the public there.

Miandad also felt that perhaps it was the time two boards form a common council and involve the cricket greats like Pakistan's Imran Khan and Sunil Gavaskar of India so that the body could suggest ways to revive bilateral cricket ties.

"Formation of such a common council with former greats would highlight the role of cricket in normalising ties between both countries. It will also ease pressure on the governments and help diffuse the current tension," Miandad said.

Indian government stopped Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men from touring Pakistan early this year after the terror incidents in Mumbai last year, but the PCB has been insisting on reviving bilateral cricket ties with India even at neutral venues.

PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt is presently visiting India with speculations in the media that he would call on BCCI officials to discuss the possibility of holding a one-day series next year at any neutral venue, preferably England.

Miandad said that he had always stated the sports and the politics should not be mixed up.

"Unfortunately whenever there is tension between the governments cricket was affected the most, although this sport has played big role in encouraging people to people contacts and removing apprehension and misunderstanding between the people," he said.

Miandad, who was Pakistan coach when India toured the country in 2004 after a gap of 14 years, pointed out that the series had given a big boost to the process of confidence building between the two countries.