After a break of five years, the cricket-mad Indian public were desperate to see their side take on their old rivals. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Fast bowling legend Wasim Akram said on Tuesday he was confident Pakistan's hotly-anticipated tour of India next month would pass off safely and urged the two sides to use threats by Hindu radicals as motivation.

Pakistan will meet their arch-rivals in five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s in December and January, their first full series since 2007, but Indian Hindu groups have urged Delhi to cancel and threatened protests.

The right-wing Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad demanded India refuse to resume cricket ties until Pakistan brings to justice the masterminds behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead.

India halted all bilateral cricket with Pakistan after Mumbai, but earlier this month approved the short tour announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in July.

Wasim, one of the sport's greatest ever bowlers and now popular in India as a commentator, said he was hopeful of a trouble-free tour.

“I can't wait for this tour to happen,” Wasim told AFP. “I am confident that the Indian government will make this tour a happy and safe one for our team because the whole world is waiting for this and want it to be a series reviving one.”

Wasim said all threats should act as motivation for both the countries.

“We toured India despite threats,” said Wasim, who led Pakistan on the India tour in 1999 despite Shiv Sena activists dug up the pitch at the Delhi stadium, forcing officials to move the first Test to Chennai.

“We had full confidence in Indian security and that tour came off very well and I am sure this time too India will make sure it goes untroubled.”

Wasim said that after a break of five years, the cricket-mad Indian public were desperate to see their side take on their old rivals.

“The whole of India is keenly waiting for this tour to happen and I am sure come December 25 they will throng the stadium,” said Wasim of the first Twenty20 in Bangalore. “I am sure Indian fans will give a good response to our team.”

Ahmedabad will host the second Twenty20 on December 27 followed by one-day in Chennai (December 30), Kolkata (Jan 3) and Delhi (Jan 6).

Few rivalries in sport are as intense as India and Pakistan on the cricket field, and Wasim said he hoped the men in green would be buoyed by the occasion.

“I use to thrive in an India match,” said Wasim, who helped his side maintain a dominant record over their arch-rivals during the span of his 104 Test and 356 one-day internationals career.

“I would not sleep the night before and would plan and most of the time handled the pressure well and came out winner.

“So it would be important for this Pakistan team to handle the pressure well. If they are scared of losing then they can't win. I think if Pakistan's batting clicks then we can beat India in India.”

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Comments are closed.

Comments (69)

November 15, 2012 2:11 am
Home pitch / weather condition gives advantage against countries like England / SA whose home conditions are different, not against Pak. Home crowd can make some difference though.
November 13, 2012 6:49 pm
You are right!. Majority of Indians are always opposing friendly terms with Pakistanis. I can understand the Mumbai fiasco but why were you digging pitches back then in 1999? because you have always opposed good terms just like the extremist in Pakistan do.
Abdullah Hussain
November 13, 2012 6:54 pm
Like first winter rain the tall talks about the forth coming series in India started. Please give it a break and let the series be as one of the many being played around the world. Too much coverage and high expectations put un-necessary pressure on the team. Let cricket win.
November 13, 2012 7:01 pm
Agreed....recent matches proved otherwise....batting collapse like paper house....Timings matter. When God is free HE hear to say Tathastu...and at times with Glitch as it in case of Sri Krishna birth(i will be born as your son but....)
November 13, 2012 7:01 pm
I agree.
Naeem syed
November 14, 2012 11:59 am
What a formidable line up of Super Stars each and every one that Jay has mentioned, and it will be a joy to see them perform again before they become a part of sports history. Let's see how this young Pakistani team knowing full well that they are going up against has to offer in skill, tactics and nerve. It will be fun to watch. Cricket is a game for Gentleman Sportsmen not for political bickering.
raja hindustani
November 14, 2012 8:00 am
Who cares...??
November 15, 2012 11:41 am
Is it true?
November 13, 2012 7:06 pm
Zinda...baad...Filhaal cricket...
November 13, 2012 5:27 pm
Please spare cricket on this matter ...specially you already have Sur Kshetra game on between these countries....Let's enjoy the master strokes and in swinging yorkers.
November 15, 2012 4:31 am
November 13, 2012 2:31 pm
Pakistan's batting is weak....need to include experienced players like Mohd Yousuf in team. Otherwise no chance for Pak team.
Sohail Zafar
November 15, 2012 9:45 am
INDIA vs Pakistan Stats since 2000 These to countries meet 41 times in ODI's where Pak Win 21 Odis and India win 20 Odis In tests 12 Meeting where Pak win 3 Tests and India win 4 Test others were Draw Now how says India Dominate Pakistan since 2000 Its 50-50 battle in last 12 years for both teams, you all indians must remeber pakistan played 13 Odis in india since 2004 and won 7 times...
Roney Indian
November 15, 2012 9:53 am
it becoz dawn is the only news paper which is fair and secular like Indian Newspapers and worth reading by Indians.
Abdullah Hussain
November 14, 2012 9:57 am
Now, Jay you have gone too far with you absurd. Although Pakistan batting is weak nevertheless we have some brilliant batsmen in the side who can pose real threat to the bowlers. Wait to enjoy the game & not just get word crazy.
November 14, 2012 8:14 am
To beat India in India by Pakistan is not only difficult but impossible.
Adeel Ali
November 14, 2012 7:30 am
I somehow agree's the opinion of waseem. Still lots of efforts required from pakistan team as both batting and bowling had not done well in the recent past. Also players like nazeer and sami needs to be rested, and Afridi and others seniors should come up with mental toughness.
November 14, 2012 12:26 pm
To all Pakistanis, Please do not come to India. We do not want you people. End of story.
November 14, 2012 12:37 pm
we will come.
Ahmed Sultan (India)
November 14, 2012 11:23 am
that was long back. Now i cant even remember when was last time Pakistan won against India. Dont say warm up matches, come to real games.
Ahmed Sultan (India)
November 14, 2012 11:20 am
How the pitch will be depends entirely on home team. Even if pitch is favoring pakistan, Inshallah India will win, just like we won 2011 semi final and that match in t20 world cup
Capt C M Khan
November 14, 2012 12:38 pm
This is GIFT from ZAKA and Selection committe to India on Christmas day. They know this AVERAGE Pak team is no match to this Indian team, they want the Indians to have a joyfull Christmas this year. When you have the llikes of Afridi, Malik, Kamran, No fast bowler half as good as Wasim/Waqar/Shoaib what else can you expect????
November 14, 2012 4:16 pm
hehehe very fuuny THE TIMES OF INDIA is 2nd largest selling news paper in asia 3,140,000 news paper daily........we come here because this topic is related to india thats it....
November 13, 2012 4:10 pm
Pakistan will easily beat India in India. We have top players like U.Akmal, K.Akmal. S.Afridi, A. Shafiq. Besides these great players ,we have also talented fast bowlers like Cheema.
November 13, 2012 4:17 pm
I respect wasim but if u play well that day u can win it is very clear now india is better side like pak untill 2000 better than india but india beat pak so it is on day how team play if both team play to their potential and judgement their talent than india will defeat pak any day and any ground
Jeetinder Sandhu
November 14, 2012 10:26 am
well said Gautam, some wounds don't heal. God Bless you. All we ask is that Pak stay away from us, they can play any other cricketing nation and we wish them well.
Imraan Mehmood
November 13, 2012 4:30 pm
if shahid Afridi is included then we are doomed
Imraan Mehmood
November 13, 2012 4:33 pm
I am pakistani, but I agree with Jay, pakistan team is half-full of traitors
True human
November 14, 2012 7:17 am
yup...India shouldn't have allowed the tour in the first place but they are too generous or are they too soft? However first priority of any Indian is to get the Mumbai masterminds to justice. The cricket matches are nothing in front of getting justice for 26/11.
November 14, 2012 7:14 am
no self respecting indian will enjoy the game after the mumbai attacks.thats for sure
rahul, assam
November 14, 2012 7:11 am
india will win man!!!
Imraan Mehmood
November 13, 2012 4:35 pm
'Pakistan Zindabad' alone is not enough, actions speak more than words.
November 14, 2012 7:00 am
The only strength of Pakistan is the crazy performances of some individuals at crucial stages. There is no reliability neither in batting nor bowling.
Naeem syed
November 14, 2012 11:47 am
Roney Bhai, this is not about politics. It's a game where we all come together robe one again. Enjoy the sport of it and the skill and performance of each player Indian or Pakistani. This is the problem with narrow minded people they focus and make totally baseless statements and miss the big beautiful pictures of two countries striving to friendship for the good of both people. Let's hope that this series will be an exciting show skill and sportsmanship by both teams paving the way for a better future for both our countries.
November 14, 2012 6:05 am
This is good news indeed. But how about for once both India & Pakistan are on one side and play against England & Australia at the HQ in London.
November 14, 2012 5:50 am
The question is weather India would ever visit Pakistan if a group threatened it in Pakistan. I dont know why we have to degrade ourselves to that extent and expect others to show us respect. You can read some comments here from my Indian friends who claim that not just a few groups but the majority of population in India opposes this series. I agree with it. However I think we should also look at our players safety. If there was a Bombay incident then there was also Samjhota and many Kashmirs and Quettas. But if one party wants to stick to one incident and then there should be no compulsion on us to bend to that extent. Our gesture will never be reciprocated. How many times do we want to re learn the same lesson.
November 14, 2012 5:04 am
Don't say big words Jay! Just go and check the records for your satisfaction that who has got an upper hand. I am sure you'll regret your comment...
November 14, 2012 4:37 am
No one can underestimate Pakistani team regardless of their weaknesses. Pakistani team also knows that no one is invincible. They have beaten the best teams in the world. India is no special team. The only important thing Pakistani team can do is to give tough fight in every department of the game which should produce positive results ( insha'allah).
Asif Kashmiri
November 13, 2012 1:20 pm
Pakistan Zindabad.
Ch.subba Rao
November 13, 2012 1:23 pm
pakistan cannot beat india anywhere now because their batting and bowling is very very weak.let them try to give a fight.
November 14, 2012 3:37 am
have u ever seen india ever so desperate everytime to play with pakistan? you guys cry every time to play with us? so who is cry baby?
November 13, 2012 1:41 pm
I respect Wasim but I disagree with him that only Hindu radical groups are opposed to series. An overwhelming majority of Indians oppose it to protest against Pakistan's deliberate delay in action against Mumabi attack masterminds. It is writing on the wall. Also why a series is being squeezed between another series ?
Concerned Pakistani
November 14, 2012 2:44 am
Let us play for the glory of sport. Enjoy cricket and let get a genuine friendship going for the hundreds of millions who would benefit. World war killed over 60 million and look at Europe today it is a European Union. Let there be mutual respect and let the dead past bury it's dead. Don't let fundamentalists on both side not win. Open your hearts and minds and let the hatred out.
November 14, 2012 2:31 am
Jay, At the end of day it is a game of cricket and this very team of yours were one of the first big team to go out of T20. So chill man. let see you and your Dec
November 14, 2012 12:52 am
AGREE 100%. We need Younas and Yousaf in team.
November 13, 2012 7:41 pm
quite funny to see more indian then pakistan on dawn
November 13, 2012 2:03 pm
i respect wasim akram, but totally disagree with his opinion. it is very hard to defeat india in home conditions. india will trash pakistan. one kohli is enough to all pakistani batsmen. there will sachin, yuvraj, kohli, raina, gambhir, dhoni... pakistan is no where in comparision to inda
November 13, 2012 2:03 pm
lets c........lets c.......
November 14, 2012 12:08 am
Learn from the history Pakistan had beaten India twice as much. If umpiring is fair and your bookies don't interfere then we will win...
November 13, 2012 10:19 pm
If Pakistan happens to loose the series, then it is certainly a cae of match fixing and needs to be probed after the series. Pakistan is the best team in the world and it is an unbeatable cricket team, just like the nation itself.
November 14, 2012 8:46 am
Well time will say who will win this series but the most important thing is they are playing again and its the best for cricket . Most retired cricketer has nothing to do except commentary and " Prediction " . Well anticipated series for sure . But I have a question for Pakistani people , why most of the people from Pakistan uses stereotype answer for every question " Pakistan Zindabad " . I will say Pakistan people are the most emotional people on earth . ( Although being emotional is not bad at all but on the right occasion I guess .)
November 13, 2012 10:10 pm
Just watch. beta
November 14, 2012 8:49 am
It's because there are no good newspapers in India :)
November 13, 2012 9:53 pm
Cry baby? Is that your best apology? I agree with Mandeep 100%, its not just Hindu radical groups. I am totally against the series and would stop it if I could; but then I would have stopped your other team also that visited on 26/11. Jihadi gatherings are like a social events in your country, everyone partakes and enjoys the euphoria, not in ours. Please do not rub into our wounds any more and you may continue to 'enjoy the game' in your own backyard.
November 14, 2012 8:51 am
What!! Yousuf hasn't played any cricket lately
November 13, 2012 9:32 pm
Jay had some great bowlers to tackle the lights of Kholi ,tendulkar ,dhoti,gambir and raina and we will beat u in ur home
Fen Tian
November 13, 2012 9:22 pm
Guys are talking about Kohli here.Has anyone forgotten about Kamran Akmal centuries against India.He himself bats like hammer in his hand whenever he plays India.India need to be careful of that guy.
Roney Indian
November 14, 2012 12:47 pm
well then get ready for humiliation at Indian embassy
Taj Qureshi
November 14, 2012 10:09 pm
World records of sorts will be feathered into Indian caps. Pakistanis travel to India like a bunch of sheep to the slaughter house. Remain confident that Kamran Akmal would be very generous in dropping catches & Afridi plus Soaib would make a laughing stock of thmselves. Imran Nazir ...less said the better it is. He is just a Gilli Danda player who would succeed against teams like Holland and Poland.
November 13, 2012 8:13 pm
There was a time in 80's and 90's particularly after the famous last ball sixer by Maindad of Chetan Sharma when india lost almost all matches to Pakistan even those matches which India seemed to be winning but then lost due to immense pressure . The last 10 years of turmoil in Pakistan has affected everything there including cricket , thus Pakistans recent losses to India in cricket . It is not impossible to beat india in india Imran Khan has done it before, when India had players like gavaskar , kapil dev , vengsarkar , Srikanth etc etc so can someone else . pakistan needs to strengthen its fielding and batting which often let them down and play with a plan and victory would be theirs .
November 13, 2012 3:28 pm
Mandeep, don t be a cry baby and enjoy the game.
November 13, 2012 8:09 pm
I am not a cry baby, Haq. I am only referring to Wasim's remarks on those opposing this series. You need an environment for good and healthy contest which I am afraid is not there at the moment. Other than the grudge that we have, is your penchant for raking up match fixing theories whenever Pakistan looses. So there is no fun.
Roney Indian
November 14, 2012 11:24 pm
A true Indian Muslim! Proud of u Ahmed....
November 13, 2012 6:55 pm
If India make a standard pitch then India lose series. if not then India win.
Roney Indian
November 14, 2012 7:55 am
Prove it, unfortunately it has nothing to be proud's a failed country and the whole world knows it
November 15, 2012 2:59 am
My friend you are toooo late for that!
November 13, 2012 6:13 pm
I agree, I dont see the rush in staging a Pakistan - India series. I believe a majority of younger Pakistanis are not really pushed about playing India specifically and the media is hyping this for a good story. Our interest is more in reviving Pakistan's international cricket schedule and frankly I would be happier to see us play South Africa, Australia, West Indies or Sri Lanka.
November 13, 2012 2:52 pm
Wait for the Indian Governmet to impose visa restrictions on the Pakistan team. They'll need a sponsor too.
November 14, 2012 1:36 pm
The tour is just a mockery as the real contest lies in test matches and Pakistan India test matches played in India have always been far more thrilling and exciting than the limited overs format
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