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08 December 2023

PCB chief calls for Ind v Pak 'Ashes' series

Virat Kholi of India is congratulated by Shoaib Malik of Pakistan after the ICC T20 World Cup Super Eight group 2 match at R. Premadasa Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (GETTY)

By Staff

The resumption of bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan after a gap of five years has reignited the debate whether it is the biggest rivalry in world cricket.

Australian legend and the doyen of cricket commentators Richie Benaud no less thinks so.

"#INDvPak is clearly the biggest rivalry in world cricket. The Ashes is yesterdays news. RT if you agree my sub continental friends," he tweeted (‏@RichieBenaud_) during the ongong series.

Test matches are being played in South Africa and Australia but the Ind v Pak clashes albeit T20 and ODIs appear to be taking pride of place going by attendances at the venue and television ratings.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf wants to cash in on the improved relations with India by having an Ashes-like cricket series with their fiercest rivals.

"We have thought of it. The idea has been floated with the BCCI if an Ashes like series can be played between India and Pakistan every year or alternate year," Ashraf was quoted as saying in The Nation.

"The series can be named either after (M Ali) Jinnah or (Mahatma) Gandhi."

Ashraf said he is working with the Indian board (BCCI) president N Srinivasan to develop a very good working relationship and develop a better understanding.

"Hopefully in future we will move at a dramatically high speed. Wherever I go people ask me why can't we have more matches with India. Why should fans be deprived of it?" he questioned.

Pakistan are hopeful that India would make a reciprocal visit in August during a period when the window is open for both countries in the ICC Future Tours Programme.

The PCB chief said future matches with India can be played in Pakistan or at a neutral venue.

UAE has been the 'home' venue of Pakistan since foriegn teams refused to travel to Pakistan for security reasons following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team.

He went on to say that no other cricket game can be bigger in the world than a Pakistan-India match.

"It has been my wish from day one that there should be revival of cricket (between India and Pakistan). It is good for cricket as well as the people," Ashraf said.