KOLKATA: Stating that relations between the two neighbouring countries have improved, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said on Thursday he wants an Ashes-like series with arch-rivals India.
“We have thought of it. The idea has been floated with the BCCI if an Ashes- like series can be played between India and Pakistan every year or alternate year,” Zaka told reporters here. “The series can be named either after [Mohammad Ali] Jinnah or [Mahatma] Gandhi.”
Zaka said he is working with the BCCI President N. Srinivasan to develop a very good working relationship and develop a better understanding.
“Hopefully in future we will move at a dramatically high speed. Wherever I go people ask me why can't we have more matches with India. Why should fans be deprived of it?” he said adding that the ongoing bilateral series, resumed after a gap of five years, is a dream come true for him.
Hoping that the Indian cricket team will visit Pakistan soon, the PCB chief said future matches with India can be played in Pakistan or at a neutral venue.
On relations with other cricketing nations, the PCB chief said things are much better now.
“Our cities and grounds are now safe. We have proper security in place and no team should be scared of coming to Pakistan,” he said.
Bangladesh had recently refused to tour Pakistan citing security concerns and Zaka said their decision was influenced by the terrorists attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.
“Fears from that unfortunate incident in 2009 prevail. So, they (BCB) are scared that such an incident might get repeated. But I want to assure everyone that now there is no threat,” the PCB head said adding that Bangladesh should honour their commitment.
On the inclusion of Pakistani players in the sixth edition of the IPL, he said, “If the BCCI asks us, we will be cooperative and supportive as we have been in the past.”—Agencies