Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has suggested that a televised three-match ODI series against India to raise funds for the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic in both the countries.
India and Pakistan have suspended sporting activities in their respective countries, and the last time they played a full-series was in a series was in 2007. Their strained relationship is due to the terrorist attacks on India by Pakistani insurgent. This had also resulted in a diplomatic row between the two countries. The other time they squared up against each other was in ICC events and Asia Cup.
Looking at the situation of things, Akhtar proposed a three-match series in which Indians and Pakistans would be upset at the outcome of the games for the first time.
Speaking further, the former player said if the proposal is accepted and India skipper, Virat Kohli scores a hundred, Pakistanis will be happy, and if Babar Azam also does the same, Indians will be happy. He added that both teams would be winners irrespective of the outcome of the game.
While noting that with the COVID-19 pandemic could make the proposed matches to be held behind-closed-doors, Akhtar said it could be shown on TV for everyone to watch at their respective homes, which could bring about massive viewership.
He added that after the games, the money generated could be shared equally by the government of India and Pakistan to fight the pandemic.
Although both countries are in a lockdown due to the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, the 44-year-old felt the games should be held sooner which is better in his own opinion but pointed out logistical nightmare that such an initiative could face.
With many players not having a lot of space to train, provided the proposal is accepted, there might be fitness issues from both side of the team, especially India.
Speaking further, due to the political situation of both countries, Akhtar also suggested that the game could be held in a neutral location like Dubai, adding that the lockdown situation will make it a huge success in terms of viewership.
He further said that the games might not hold now but when things start improving, and chartered flights could be arranged for both teams to the neutral venue.
Akhtar who is also known as Rawalpindi Express said this could even lead to the resumption of bilateral cricketing ties and other relationship between the countries; hence improvement in their diplomacy.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed