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Eng-Pak relation will be normalised soon, hopes Afridi

Pakistan ODI skipper Shahid Afridi has expressed hope that relations between the Pakistan and England cricket boards would soon be normalised.

cricket Updated: Sep 29, 2010 00:51 IST

Pakistan ODI skipper Shahid Afridi has expressed hope that relations between the Pakistan and England cricket boards would soon be normalised.

"The Pakistan board should try to take steps to normalise relations with the ECB because Pakistan cricket needs the support of other nations at this stage," Afridi told Geo Super channel.

He pointed out that the options of playing at neutral venues for Pakistan were limited and England was a viable neutral venue for the Pakistan cricket team.

His comments came on the day PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt and legal advisor, Tafazzul Rizvi left for London on a visit which is being seen as significant by many people.

Butt and Rizvi are due to meet with the law firm appointed by the board in London to discuss the reply to be sent to the ECB and English players who have demanded an unconditional apology and compensation from Butt for making a statement in which he indirectly said English players were involved in fixing matches.

The duo are also due to meet with Scotland Yard officials investigating into spot fixing allegations against three Pakistani players, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir.

Afridi said he hoped the dispute between the PCB and ECB would be resolved amicably soon.

"If our relations with ECB don't improve the options available to us to play at neutral venues would be reduced and this is not good for us," Afridi said.

"I think in existing circumstances when Pakistan cricket is going through tough times we should make the best use of the best available neutral venues available to us," he stated.

Afridi, however, said the players were happy that the PCB had taken a strong stand for them and was keen to protect their interests.

"But at the same time we would also like to see the PCB have good relations with ECB," he said.

Ijaz Butt has largely come under fire for his comments on English players with many former test captains questioning the timing of Butt's remarks and the wisdom behind making such allegations.

"If at all Butt has evidence of English players wrong doing he should have gone to the ICC and ECB and shared the information with them instead of directly making such a statement," former captain, Asif Iqbal said.