Former spinner Mushtaq Ahmed: Mushtaq Ahmed, former Pakistan spinner has advocated the resumption of bilateral cricket between the two neighbouring countries. The legendary leg-spinner said the cricket between India and Pakistan can improve their strained relations. This came at a time when the relations between two nuclear-armed countries have escalated over the stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Mushtaq said that the cricket fans from both countries want to see their respective teams playing against each other in the bilateral series. Mushtaq, who represented Pakistan in 144 ODIs and 52 Tests, said that the series between the two neighbouring nations was much bigger than the Ashes.
Both the countries have not played against each other in any bilateral series. They can be seen playing only in ICC events like World Cup and the Champions Trophy. The former player also supported Indo-Pak dialogue to resolve their issues. He asserted that bilateral cricket can play an important role in improving relations. He stated that the recent opening of Kartarpur Corridor was a great initiative.
Commenting on the deteriorating performance of Pakistan team in the past few months, the 49-year-old said that the team was undergoing a transition phase, adding that it was under new leaders with new management which should be given time to improve. Earlier, Pakistan could not qualify for the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup. It was followed by team’s humiliating loss at the hands of Sri Lanka in the three-match T20I series. After that, Pakistan faced another series loss against Australia in the shortest format.
Azhar Ali-led Pakistan are set to take on Australia on November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane. The team showed some good batting in the three-day tour match with Babr Azam and Asad Shafiq scoring tons. The match ended in a draw.