Even as the BCCI awaits the government’s nod to play cricket with Pakistan, disabled players from both sides broke bread on Tuesday and parted on the promise to meet again soon.
India won the three-match T20 series 2-1 after Pakistan clinched the final game in the super over at the Roshanara Club ground on Sunday night. The hosts had won the first two matches on December 4 and 5 at the same venue.
“I have seen the news about the India-Pakistan cricket issue, but this is no issue for us. We are same age-group friends but inside the ropes we are rivals. Both sides played tough cricket and the last match was a cliffhanger. We are sad as we leave for home but we decided to play more against each other. We want India to play in Lahore or Rawalpindi,” Abdul Mallan, 31, the Pakistani captain, told HT on Tuesday.
This was Pakistan’s third visit since 2012. The Indian team was to travel for a series last December but the Pakistani government cancelled their visas citing security concerns after the terrorist attack on a Peshawar school. The Indian team had last travelled to Pakistan in 2012.
“Like always, it was home for us, and we are taking back love and affection. We would like to come back and play cricket here,” said Waqar, the Pakistani team manager.
Interestingly, Pakistan High Commissioner Tariq Karim was present during the closing ceremony while Union Cabinet Minister Jitendra Singh attended the opening ceremony.
“Both teams were together for a week and it looked like a family gathering. The players dined together in the stadium and team hotel. The Pakistani players wanted to see the Delhi Metro and other places so we arranged for a bus. They will leave on Thursday morning via the Wagah Border,” said Ravi Chauhan, Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India general secretary.