Former PCB chief Shaharyar Khan has asked the cricket teams of India and Pakistan to show exemplary patience and tolerance during their high-voltage World Cup semifinal as he feels the match would play an important role in improving the bilateral ties between the two countries.
"There is no doubt that this match can play a big role in restoring the stalled peace and people to people contact process between the two countries that is why their is additional responsibility on the players in the match," Khan said.
Khan, who also went to India in 1999 as the Pakistan team manager and played an instrumental role as Chairman of the Pakistan board in 2004 in getting the Indian team to tour Pakistan after 14 years, said he knew from experience that cricket clashes between the two countries can cause extreme reactions on both sides of the border.
"I know that on the field there is extra pressure on the players from their media and people to do well and at times emotions run high during matches. Since Pakistan is playing in India after four years and it is a big World Cup knockout match, I would advise players of both sides to remain calm," he said.
The career diplomat said how the players behaved on the field and their gestures played a big role in impacting the peoples' vision of a match.
"That is why there is extra responsibility on the players to exercise calm and patience and avoid clashes on the field. They should try to convey a clear message that after all this is a cricket match and not war on the ground," Khan added.
Khan also noted that having been to India several times he knew that generally the people there appreciated whichever team played good cricket.
"They understand the spirit of the game and the media should also avoid turning this match into something more than a cricket match."