The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are at loggerheads over hosting the Asia Cup. The PCB favours holding this year’s tournament in its own country, while Asian Cricket Council President Jay Shah has stated to keep it in a neutral country. In such a situation, there has been a lot of speechmaking from both countries.
Many cricketers are also not holding back from making statements in this matter. Now former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has also given a big statement. He has said that till some time back, he too had received threats from an Indian, but his team still went to India.
The former Pakistan captain said in a conversation with the media on the occasion of Legends League Cricket – Who is saying no to the Asia Cup? India is saying no.
Afridi further said that his country would take great care of the Indian team if India tours Pakistan for the Asia Cup. Afridi stated that If you send the Indian team, then it is right. We will keep them on our heads.
“Aap Indian team ko bheje toh sahi, humlog sar aankhon par rakhenge (You just send the Indian team to Pakistan, and we will welcome them with great pleasure). Before this, an Indian from Mumbai, who won’t take his name, had threatened Pakistan that they wouldn’t be allowed in India. But we kept everything aside, and our government had taken it up as a responsibility, and the Pakistan team went to India. So threats should not ruin our relationship. Threats will remain,” he said.
Talking about the history of India-Pakistan cricket relations, Afridi shared memorable anecdotes from India’s tour of Pakistan in 2005.
I remember when we came to India, we got an excellent response. If you remember the 2005 series, Harbhajan and Yuvraj used to go shopping and restaurants, and no one took money from them. This is the beauty of the relations between the two countries.
“It would have been nice if India had come. It would have been a step towards cricket and Pakistan for India. This is not a generation of wars and fights; we want relationships to be improved. We played against India with a lot of love and affection. I remember when we came to India, we got an outstanding response. If you remember the 2005 series, Harbhajan and Yuvraj used to go shopping and to restaurants, and no one used to charge them money. This is the beauty of the two nations,” he further added.