India safe to hold matches against Pakistan, says VVS Laxman
Syed Kirmani (left) and Ramiz Raja (centre) speak about possible India-Pakistan series as VVS Laxman looks on; Photo Courtesy: Sudatta Mukherjee
Mumbai: Jun 2, 2014
While comparing the contest between India and arch-rivals Pakistan to the Ashes, former India batsman VVS Laxman on Monday said that India is safe to host the matches, should a bilateral series between the neighbouring countries take place.
The stylish Hyderabadi 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 istraditional rivalry. I think it is the same, on par with the Ashes, the India Pakistan rivalry. I don’t see any problem hosting in Indiabut 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.
Former wicket-keeper batsman Syed Kirmani, however, suggested that the best way to revive the cricketing ties between the two country was to host the series at a neutral venue in Asia. “The best thing to start the bilateral relations is to have India Pakistan play at a neutral place to start with. I think that would be the best idea to go about to having a series with Pakistan,” the former India stumper, who was part of the World Cup winning squad in 1983 said. “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 added.
Former Pakistan player and cricket commentator Ramiz Raja said, “It [India-Pakistan series] must happen because it is great for the game.”