In the wake of the global crisis caused due to coronavirus outbreak, former speedster Shoaib Akhtar urged the two neighbours- India and Pakistan to come together and support each other.
“If India can make 10,000 ventilators for us, Pakistan will remember this gesture forever. But we can only propose the matches. The rest is up to the authorities (to decide),” Akhtar was quoted by PTI as saying.
With bilateral events coming to a halt between the two nations due to rising political tensions, Akhtar also proposed the idea of conducting a three-match ODI series to raise funds for the fight against COVID-19.
“In this time of crisis, I want to propose a three-match series in which for the first time, the people of neither country would be upset at the outcome of the games,” Akhtar said.
“If Virat (Kohli) scores a hundred, we will be happy, if Babar Azam scores a hundred, you will be happy. Both teams will be winners irrespective of whatever happens on the field,” he said.
“You are bound to get massive viewership for the games. For the first time, both countries will play for each other. And whatever funds are generated through this can be donated equally to the government of India and Pakistan to fight this pandemic,” added the 44-year-old.
“The whole world will tune into it, so much money can be raised to deal with this crisis. In difficult times, the character of the nation comes forward.”
“It was inhuman to criticise them (Yuvraj and Harbhajan). It is not about countries or religion at the moment, it is about humanity,” Akhtar said.
The Rawalpindi express cherished the moment he spent in India as a commentator. “I am forever grateful about the love I have received from the people of India. For the first time I am revealing this, whatever I used to earn from India, I made a significant amount there, thirty percent of it, I used to distribute among the low income staff who used to work with me in the TV,” he stated.
The former Pakistan cricketer also mentioned that he used to visit the slum areas in Mumbai with his face covered and hand over financial help to the needy and the underprivileged.
“From drivers, runners to my security guys. I took care of a lot of people. I was like if am earning from this country, I have to help my colleagues also,” he said.
“I also remember visiting slums of Dharavi and Sion in the wee hours to meet people I worked with,” he recalled.
Following Akhtar’s proposal that India and Pakistan play a cricket series to raise funds, Kapil Dev on Thursday, said there cannot be any cricket for now and that the more important thing is to work together and stop the blame game.
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