Right time to resume India-Pakistan cricket: ICC president

Hyderabad, Sep 15 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas on Tuesday said the whole world wants to see India and Pakistan play and it was the right time to resume the cricketing ties between the two countries.

“The whole world wants India and Pakistan to play. I hope the time will come and we will start playing cricket. Whole world is looking for the Indo-Pak series, no doubt about it,” Abbas, himself a former Pakistan cricketer and captain, told reporters here.

“It’s not just Pakistan wants to play India. India should also want to play against Pakistan. And if they play, this is the right time to start. As CEO Dave (Richardson) said, everybody is looking forward to seeing India-Pakistan play. People want to see Indo-Pak first, Ashes second,” Abbas said.

He said he was ready to contribute in whatever manner he can to help the two neighbours resume the series.

“If there’s someone who I can see and convey the message, I will,” he said when asked if he would hold talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Pakistan Cricket Board last week requested Abbas to exert his influence as the ICC president to persuade the Indian board to confirm the series in December.

He also hoped that the BCCI would talk to the PCB to finalise the series proposed to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“When I played cricket for my country in ’69-70, I played against India after 18 years. So I hope it will start soon,” he added.

Zaheer is in Hyderabad at the invitation of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) for the prize distribution of All India Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup final being played between Hyderabad XI and India Cements here.

The former Pakistan skipper, who was last here in 1997 to play against India Veterans, said Hyderabad has changed a lot.

“Lot of changes in this place. It looks very beautiful. I have been noticing all the changes on my way here from the airport. Really enjoyed the traffic and the roads, your airport has become wonderful, looks like some place abroad. It’s beautiful,” he said.

He said India’s new Test skipper Virat Kohli is doing very well.

“I’m hoping he’ll become better. There should be aggression, why not. But the main thing is you need to beat somebody, not by talking but by performing on the field.”

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