Pakistan’s cricket legend Imran Khan has said that he would like to see Pakistan and India resume bilateral series after the warm welcome given to the National team in India during the ICC World T20.
“I was happy to see the hospitality extended to us and our team in Kolkata and I think it is time the two countries resumed regular bilateral matches,” he said in Peshawar during a tree plantation drive ceremony.
Imran, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party which is governing in the Khyber Pakthunkhawa province, said despite the disappointment of seeing Pakistan lose to India in the World event it was time for both teams to play regularly against each other.
“I think if the two boards and governments can agree to resumption of bilateral series it will prove beneficial for both countries and the players,” he said.
“It will also bring financial benefits for both boards,” he added.
Imran, however, admitted that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were in a more stable financial position and had stabilised their cricket system but a bilateral series would prove a bigger financial boost for the Pakistan board.
“If bilateral cricket can resume it will mean money for the board and this can than be invested into our domestic and club cricket which needs to be reorganised in the country,” said the 1992 World Cup winning captain.
“We are not short of talent in cricket but we need to inject money into the sport at the grassroots level and boost the condition of domestic players and improve our domestic system,” he said.
Imran also felt that the Pakistan team had not played to its potential in the match in Kolkata on Saturday.
“I had met with the players and I had told Shahid Afridi to try to relax himself and also ask the players to be relaxed and not take any pressure of the occasion,” he said.
“My view was clear if the captain is under pressure how can he lift the other players. A India and Pakistan match is always all about holding your nerves.”
Imran said what disappointed him was that the Pakistan team didn’t play to their true potential and put up a strong fight.
“It was a one-sided encounter. Even if we had lost after a close match it would be fine for me. But now like this.”