pakistan cricket, india cricket
Pakistan and India are currently playing a three-match ODI series in India. -Photo by AP

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

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Comments (18)

Capt C M Khan
January 4, 2013 11:03 am
The extremists are blowing up busses....shooting...bombing at will when they like DAILY and Zaka says our cities are safe!...Let the matches be in India only no problem. We want CRICKET not POLITICS please.
January 4, 2013 2:50 pm
Ridiculous to name series on Historical figures of Gandhi / Jinnah.. good sound byte.. why cant it be named 'The Duel' ?
January 4, 2013 3:05 pm
Jinnah/Gandhi ko lattu nahee phekna ata tha, cricket door ke baat hai... Please leave the politics out of this.
January 4, 2013 2:59 pm
is he the PCB boss ? On one hand , they say cricket shouldn't be mixed with politics , but try to rename it after politicians. We don't object to naming after mahatma gandhi as he was not a real politicians , but we Indians think jinnah was aopportunists and traitor . So please shut up!!
January 4, 2013 3:36 pm
January 4, 2013 3:58 pm
Is this guy on drugs? we already have too much hatred on both sides and this idiot wants to stoke the flames by naming cricket series after after political figures.
January 4, 2013 4:01 pm
Wake up, wake up from your deep slumber.Mr.Zaka is only safe because he roams around with 500 policemen at his service.
January 4, 2013 10:41 am
Why to make it controversial by naming it behind political leaders? why can't simply name is 'peace series' or name it after cricket greats like Sachin-Waqar series!
January 4, 2013 4:42 pm
U mean Sachin-Wasim...right? I hope that was a typo only?
January 4, 2013 4:31 pm
Let's first make sure that Srinivasan is thrown out of BCCI. If a regular series is started with Pakistan there will be people on streets protesting it. Let's put BCCI in order.
January 4, 2013 4:21 pm
Why do we always bring politics/politicians into sports? In case, if it has to be named after someone’s name then please name it after your cricket hero’s or something like that. Please don’t bring Gandhi, Jinnah, Iqbal and/or Benazir.
January 4, 2013 4:14 pm
Mad men roaming the streets!!!
Tahir Ali
January 4, 2013 3:32 pm
100% Agree. It should be like Border-Gavasgar Series.... It can be Sachin-Waqar Series
January 4, 2013 3:16 pm
Is he having a laugh. Bangladesh was right not to tour Pakistan and long may it continue. The fact is president style security failed the Sri Lnkans in 2009. Pakistan is not safe. We are better off playing our matches in UAE. India will never tour Pak in August. Pak have a better record in nuetral countries than at home anyway. Our stadia are not up to scratch compared with the ultra modern stadia in India (e.g Pune). Pakistan need to improve its internal situation and that can only happen with a new leadership at the helm of the country.
The Hindu
January 4, 2013 12:12 pm
Yeh bich me "GANDHI-JINNAH" kaha se aa gaye...
January 4, 2013 10:50 pm
This was also my first thought. Why bring political figures in sports. Name it after sport greats, I'd say.
January 4, 2013 11:01 pm
Pakistan cricket teams has always been popular and known for playing positive cricket. Recent changes in its format has made cricket very commercial considering this aspect of the game, Pakistan Cricket Board should come up with a policy to protect key players from unnecessary exposure to commercial tournaments played in different countries and must also be protect them from gambling aspect of the game through education and strict rules, as these players are precious they should be compensated accordingly. Commercial organizations and businesses should also initiate sponsorship schemes to support them and compensate them financially. Some of them are very exceptional players and must be protected as national asset.
January 5, 2013 7:17 am
"but we Indians think jinnah was aopportunists and traitor . So please shut up!!" I wish if I could bold and underline the word 'think' in your message Anil. And, that is where the problem is my friend ;) Let's move beyond the the 'thinking' we inherited - just for a change!!!
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