Days after ICC dismissed Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) petition claiming compensation from BCCI, former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Friday said that a five-match Test series against India is a bigger rivalry than the Ashes.
Speaking to NDTV, Afridi said, “The Ashes series played between England and Australia is considered as the fiercest rivalry but a five-match Test series between India and Pakistan can be bigger than that.”
Cricketer-turned-commentator Rameez Raja seconded Afridi by saying that the competition will save Test cricket. “First of all, Pakistan need to up their game against India. India-Pakistan matches will be hot-sellers. If you want to save Test cricket, India and Pakistan have to play each other. It has a different buzz and vibe. Players will learn the art of playing under pressure,” said Raza.
Earlier this week, the cricket’s governing body dismissed PCB’s compensation claim of 70 million USD, terming that the MOU signed between both the nations to hold six bilateral series is not a legally binding agreement. In its judgment, ICC stated, “In terms of any Indian tour to Pakistan, it was the PCB which was the suppliant. It was the host country which benefitted from the revenues in respect of such as tour. Bankrupts cannot be choosers, and while the PCB was certainly not bankrupt, at the very least sacrifice of such a tour would, as Mr (Subhan) Ahmad (PCB COO) put it, ‘definitely make a dent in our financial reserves’.”
“The prospect of bilateral tours with India as tourist was, in the PCB’s own words, ‘the most valuable prize in world cricket’ but ex hypothesi for other ICC Members, not the BCCI itself. By contrast there was no necessity for the BCCI, the dominant force in world cricket in the modern era, to play away against Pakistan. The BCCI may have had the wish, but it was the PCB which had the need.”
Both the nations share frosty political relationship and after the 2008 Mumbai attack, India cut off cricket ties with Pakistan. However, Pakistan visited India to play two T20Is and three ODIs from December 2012-January 2013.
The Indian cricket team are currently on their Australian tour, which will go on till January 18. Meanwhile, Pakistan team are playing a three-match Test series against New Zealand in UAE.