Inzamam urges India, Pak not to snap cricketing ties

Urging the Indian team to tour Pakistan early next year, former Pak captain Inzamam-ul Haq said the two nations should not snap cricketing ties.

updated: December 14, 2008 17:14 IST
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Urging the Indian team to tour Pakistan early next year, former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq on Sunday said the two neighbouring nations should not snap cricketing ties as the game has always helped in neutralising tensions.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co. was slated to tour Pakistan in January-February next year, but the series is now in jeopardy following last month's terror attacks in Mumbai which rose tensions between the two nations.

However, Inzamam was of the view that if the Indian government decides not to allow its cricketers to tour the strife-torn nation, Pakistan should not end cricketing ties.

"I think this would serve no purpose. Infact all said and done cricket has always served as a good tool to lower temperatures between the two nations in the past whenever relations have been tense or strained," he said.

Inzamam, who has been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for joining the rebel Indian Cricket League, said India should go ahead with the tour as per schedule and understand and support Pakistan cricket's present predicament. "Why not. If anything cricket will help keep relations on an even kneel and prevent things from getting out of hand."

He pointed out that if India decides not to play in Pakistan, it would be a big setback for the subcontinent.

"When these two neighbouring countries can't play against each other then why should we expect other teams to come and play in the subcontinent. That is why I feel England took the right decision to return to India," he said.

"When England can accept assurances from the Indians and return why not the same policy for Pakistan?" he questioned. Meanwhile, on a different note, Inzamam has also slammed the PCB for failing to arrange a balanced international programme for the national team.

He expressed astonishment over PCB officials ignorance of not noticing the lack of Test cricket opportunities for Pakistan in the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Program.

"True Australia didn't come to Pakistan this year but apart from the Test series against them, the national team has no other Tests scheduled in the FTP this year which is strange considering Bangladesh is playing more international cricket then us," Inzamam said.

"I don't know what can be done now but definitely our cricket administrators need to look into this issue of Pakistan not having any Test series scheduled properly in the FTP for long gaps.

"I would think our administrators can still take up this issue with the ICC and member nations and try to rectify things," he added.