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Pakistan can add to the charm of IPL: Wasim Akram

Published May 29, 2012 12:00pm


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“Pakistani players Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez are popular in India and Indian fans have realised they can add to the charm of the league,” said Wasim. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Wasim Akram was upbeat on Tuesday about growing signs that India and Pakistan are to resume cricketing ties, nearly four years after they were suspended following the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf is in India negotiating a revival of matches after watching the Indian Premier League (IPL) final.

India has also allowed the Sialkot Stallions to take part in October's Champions League, the first such participation by a Pakistani team since 2008.

Wasim, who as bowling coach helped Kolkata Knight Riders win their maiden IPL title on Sunday, said there were signs of a thaw.

“I acted as an ambassador for Pakistan as everyone knows me and during my stay I have seen that people want Indo-Pak cricket to start and for me the invitation for Sialkot is the first step,” Wasim told AFP.

Pakistani players featured in the inaugural IPL in 2008 and Sialkot was due to participate in the first Champions League the same year, until the Mumbai attacks saw cricket ties suspended.

Wasim, 45, expressed his hope that the doors to the IPL will open for Pakistani cricketers next year.

“Pakistani players Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez are popular in India and Indian fans have realised they can add to the charm of the league,” said Wasim, who played 104 Tests and 352 one-day internationals for Pakistan.

Wasim added that India not playing Pakistan was a great setback for the millions of spectators in both countries.

“I am a great advocate of Indo-Pak cricket and I hope all the issues between the two countries are solved so that millions of fans are not deprived of such entertaining cricket,” said Wasim, who led Pakistan on the tour of India in 1999.

Turning to Pakistan's imminent tour to Sri Lanka, Wasim said: “Pakistan has done well in the past year and although it will be tough playing Sri Lanka on their home grounds I am sure this Pakistan team will do well.”

Pakistan plays two Twenty20, five one-days and three Tests on the tour of Sri Lanka, with the first Twenty20 taking place in Hambantota on Friday.


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Comments (65) Closed

Shaz Jun 05, 2012 10:27pm
what is wrong with you people? So much hatred for what? If you have nothing constructive to say then don't spew venom, period. Such cheap and low level mentality it is sickening. Grow up you unpleasant people.
Rao May 29, 2012 12:06pm
Wasim Akram you are such a sell out.
bobby May 29, 2012 12:49pm
Offcourse!!Wasim is on KKR payroll,hence the stance.Would have been interesting,had he not been a coach with KKR to see what his stand would be. He should instead support a T20 outfit in Pakistan and work with the new crop rather than coaching foreign nationals..Money does talk!!
Manish May 29, 2012 12:57pm
Only if we invite them ! May 29, 2012 01:31pm
Pakistan should keep good relations with India. Nevertheless the demographics of Pakistan suit the middle east touch more hence they should look towards Iran and Arab countries more than looking towards India
porkchop May 29, 2012 01:44pm
NO, never! Pakis are not welcomed here, IPL is already a megahit, why we need the Pakis now!
Utkarsh May 29, 2012 01:53pm
I hope Afridi can get over our lack of 'large-heartedness' playing here...
Junaid Khan May 29, 2012 02:25pm
without pakistan there is no cricket pakistan cricket has the entertainment
Nair May 29, 2012 02:53pm
Akram should also understand that there is a huge majority in India who desist Pakistani presence on Indian soil and any action by the Govt: of India against them will jeopardise the very position of the Govt!!!!!! In short, Akram's desire will for sure end up as another Pakistani pipedream!!!!!!! Wake up from your dream Akram.
ISHTIAQ May 29, 2012 02:55pm
Why Pakistani players are dying to be part of Indian IPL? Greedy bunch remember THEY DON'T WANT YOU but you shameless lot still hoping to play in their IPL.
Anil May 29, 2012 03:04pm
well done and great comment Manish. People like you really are the true face of hindustan.
John Doe May 29, 2012 03:21pm
First people like Wasim Akram need to get a fair understanding of what is happening in their backyard. They first need to understand that playing cricket with any nation is not as important as keeping the citizen life and 'wealth' safe. Just as an indicator, for those who don't get it, including our dear champion Wasim, There is a reason nobody wants to come and play in Pakistan. And finally, why are we so much interested in playing with India? oh I get it its the money that does the talking. Don't we get it. That is the nation who leaves no opportunity to defame your country, and they will continue to do so if we dont get our priorities right, and they will be right in doing so.
Faisal May 29, 2012 03:32pm
Who cares about your opinion?
M K S May 29, 2012 03:46pm
Your comment suggests you are from across the border and are probably commenting on the IPL series. No need to get riled up about it unnecessarily as you probably didn't get the gist of the article. Sailkot Stallions have been 'invited' already. That being said, I'd rather our players not go to play with someone who can't get their priorities staright. Allow 'certain' members of the Pakistani cricket community to adjudicate matches, coach players and provide commentary but leave the players out. (P.S. Allowing Azhar Mehmood cos he has a British passprt doesn't count). Can't understand that logic. BUT all said and done, it is just a 'game', so if things are starting to move forward that is a positive step. You can't allow politics to intervene in everything. Hope good sense prevails.
Khurram May 29, 2012 03:57pm
It would have been nicer if Mr. Akram could give such a statement in favor of Pakistani Team "BEFORE" BCCI finalized their decision of inviting the Stallions. Of course he is on the payroll of Indian media and would not say anything that would compromise that. Now that the decision is final, it is safe to make these statements.
anantha May 29, 2012 04:04pm
Wasim you are a excellent person and you have a credibility in India. This can not be said about the players whom you have named more so about Afridi. He lost all his credibility and what ever affection her had after making the nasty comments after loosing the Match during world cup in Mohali. The franchise owners are scared to invite or touch Pakistan players because it would be a bull in the China shop, with no clubbing allowed in Pakistan. I guess you are the only person who is loved most in India. Hope rest of the present players learn code of conduct from you dear Wasim.
John May 29, 2012 04:07pm
Then why you guys let Wasim Akram coach your recent IPL Champions !!! It is height of hipocracy.
Faraz May 29, 2012 05:08pm
Blessing for Pakistani Players not to play IPL. Already Domestic T20 arranged every six months and BPL is enough of T20 cricket an year.
softball player May 29, 2012 06:52pm
only if we accept the invitation;)
S.african May 29, 2012 07:27pm
U need them, the most talented cricketers in the world are missing from the ipl. By the way, I m from south africa.
nabeel May 29, 2012 07:35pm
manish r u head of BCCi!!??
Shahjahan May 29, 2012 08:47pm
IPL does not need any paki players and pakis cant add anything more .. wasim akram should stop creating false hopes ...or he may lose his own job in india .. every one wants to come to IPL cos it pays them more than PCB or any other board ...but politics is more powerful than any game!
Sam May 29, 2012 08:56pm
After the Mumbai episode it will be difficult for people of India to see Pakistan players playing in India. If Pakistan has convicted the culprit (proof has been given), it could have been different story.
Fiza May 29, 2012 08:57pm
yes, and it's a pity that they aren't. India is willing to use Pakistani expertise (such as hiring Wasim Akram) but players are a no-no. Double standards.
Amir Khan May 29, 2012 09:14pm
sounds good to me... indo/pak series are fun to watch.
Gaagar May 29, 2012 09:46pm
Why donot Pakistan punish 26/11 culpits and start a new chapter of relationship with India. It will benefit Cricketers, artists, singers and people of Pakistan only.
kamran May 29, 2012 09:47pm
now what is this behavior mannish?...too much radical and indian may be?
Mayank May 29, 2012 11:38pm
Paki players are popular in India??? Looks like either I'm not from India, or Mr. Akram is more of an Indian than me !! Hello sir, its true that Indian cricket fans do admire a few Pakistani players like yourself, Imran Khan, Abdul Qadir, Saeed Anwar etc. but I don't see any of the current Paki cricketers who are having a fan following in India. Your current players pose infact a threat to the beauty of this wonderful game, I don't need to unfold the long list of tainted Pakistani cricketers I guess, coz everyone is well aware of that !!
mig May 30, 2012 12:15am
Who invited them paki beggars? Frankly the should stay in pakistan and play the ppl or whatever
Misra May 30, 2012 12:15am
Yeah, they will be a blast.
C for Cassim May 30, 2012 01:53am
stop showing this mindset! this world and our lives are too short and precious to waste on this hatred!
PARANJAPE May 30, 2012 02:24am
Dear Wasimbhai, could you please tell us who those most popular Pakistani players in India? I wonder who really admires pakistani players in India!! There are enough Indian players who are stars and have huge fan base in India! Those were the days when there were some really good payers like Wasim himself. But to be popular among Indians, they need to be just good cricket players not religious or political players. Like Shoaib Malik who apologized to all muslims (why muslims?) when they lost to India in the first T20? Afridi who said that Indians do not have a big heart like muslims (Allah gave them the big heart but not to poor hindus!) after their exit in world cup 2011? Yousuf Youhana and Anwar who grew long beards to demonstrate that if you are a true muslim, you can hit more runs???
Vivek May 30, 2012 02:43am
Wasim has been spending majority of his time in India with his commentary commitment and his IPL team.Seems like he has taken a liking for the IPL and I'm sure it has paid him handsomely as well!!But he is right-it would create more excitement with some Pakistani players added to the outfit and increase the viewer rating even more.It will be a win win situation for everyone especially for Pakistani players(extra cash and exposure) and public as they'll have someone of their own to cheer for..
bobby May 30, 2012 02:45am
A very thought provoking comment(sarcasm intended)!!!
Sid May 30, 2012 02:51am
We do not want Afridi to set foot in India after his unwanted comments.I do not think we have missed Pak players as made out by Akram!
Kami May 30, 2012 02:57am
Nothing is permanent in this world. Today you have an upper hand, some years down the lane who knows.... So a bit of humility would not be a bad thing.
Tara May 30, 2012 03:29am
No Pakistani cricketer should be allowed to participate in IPL ever and there should be no cricket matches between India and Pakistan until and unless Pakistan hands over to India those responsible for attack on Bombay and Dawood and co..
shakir May 30, 2012 04:15am
India has already invited the Sialkot Stallions to take part in October’s Champions League!
Aviratam May 30, 2012 04:34am
They have been/are going to be invited following a personal request from Zardari to Manmohan Singh during his last visit to Ajmer and Delhi; and it's a welcome development!
indian May 30, 2012 04:49am
Looking forward for g8 relation!!
indian May 30, 2012 04:50am
Looking forward for g8 friendship !!
Shekhar May 30, 2012 05:21am
we will definitely invite them. cricket is not complete without pak.
Hindustani May 30, 2012 05:59am
Dear MR. Wasim Akram, We Indians Love and Like you very much, you are One of the Pakistani Cricketers Who does Not see India through the Islamic Lens. BUT to be Frank We don't like Pakistani Players to be Part of IPL for at least in the Near Future. The IPL is already Charming for the Last 4 seasons without Pakistani Players so let it be like that itself, and there will be Chaos instead of Charm IF pakistani players are included in IPL. 90% of Indians do not Like Pakistani players and specially Afridi as HE SAID THAT INDIANS (read Hindus) ARE PEOPLE WITHOUT BIG HEART. SO LET IT BE SOOOOO.
Manoj Verma May 30, 2012 07:39am
Accept.........ask your team which is dying to play in IPL for huge money.
Mohammed Yahya USA May 30, 2012 07:51am
After reading all the comments above most of u have so much hatred for each other that cricket is lost in between. I m a sportsman I really careless which country & what religion the sportsman is from I just love the sport.
Padma May 30, 2012 08:10am
Wasim Bhai, We really respect you here in India and the work you have done as a peace ambassador of Pakistan trying. We would love to see you as a player in IPL :) My salutes to you!
adeel May 30, 2012 08:34am
its money thats y icc is depending upon india and india is not fair dealing its okey doesnt mater. the only problem with pakistan is that there america iterfering in afghanistan and all the pastoon have to accomdate by pakistan due to neighbour since 80s when russia also raid. when amercan leave this area of course pakistan will became safe and then pakistan doest need any indian leage. we are waiting that time and it will become soon
(Dr.) B.N. Anand May 30, 2012 08:40am
Sir You could have added why Pakistani umpires are doing umpiring in IPL matches as well? These two examples show that window is still being kept open from our side in the hope that Pakistan to respond positively. We would all like this window to kept open so that we do not reach a point of no return. BNA
(Dr.) B.N. Anand May 30, 2012 08:48am
Oh! That is sort of over estimating the expertise of Wasim Akram as in international cicket many others are available to provide as much of expertise as Mr. Wasim Akram can provide. To hire him is simply a decision of one man, SRK. It is better you ask Shah Rukh Khan as to why he has hired WA, who no doubt is a great bowler in his own right. BNA
(Dr.) B.N. Anand May 30, 2012 09:06am
I am sure this would be Mr. WA's pipe dream which is not going to be realized soon. More than once, Pakistan cricket management and its players have wished to be part of IPL at the risk of being ridiculed for their wish. But the attraction of Lucre is always so tempting that one even can even forego self respect. The Pakistan management and players should desist in letting their wishes made public until there is some positive political movement between two countries. That India also can not take chance to take any risk with the security of Pakistani players in an IPL match when even one misplaced incident can prove disastrous. So let us be patient and wait for the right moment.
kashif May 30, 2012 09:12am
Afridi was right that is proved by all u people thats it.
Hassan Wali May 30, 2012 09:37am
There is a always something plotted for Pakistanis, who are first invited and then insulted!
Ali Ahmad May 30, 2012 11:17am
That explains you having a big heart.
Ali Ahmad May 30, 2012 11:19am
No one is talking cricket here. I am glad we are grown up.
bobby May 30, 2012 01:09pm
There is absolutely no comparison between one and only one Wasim Akram and current Pakistani cricketers.Seriously, if you look at the current T20 outfit,who really can you say stand up to likes of Akram,Waqar,Inzi,Anwar from yesteryear.Hence,hiring Akram has nothing to do with not willing to play any Pakistani cricketers as they are more or less an ordinary bunch.
deep May 30, 2012 02:43pm
yes but not on field ..all entertainment is provided off field!! well i think yu know what i mean!!
Akbar May 30, 2012 03:47pm
The primary reason for Akram to be such a awesome player is he was such an awesome person. He will be liked anywhere. BUT Akram needs to know that vast majority of Indians just do not identify with a religious nation like Pakistan which uses religion even in cricket. Just knowing why India does not like Pakistan players to tour currently is very important rather than forcing those players on India tours. In fact it is Pakistan that has bought religion into politics and nation building and thus politics into sport. To say politics should be kept out of game is foolish when you bring religion into law and politics. At the end of the day, it is not the government that invites sports persons-its the people of that country. If they do not want-then you are in trouble.
Kami May 30, 2012 05:05pm
I have been with a few Indians and found them to be very generous and big hearted. I don't agree with Afridi on this count.
guest May 30, 2012 08:04pm
politics and religion should not be linked to sports but unfortunately they do it.. sports bring the people closer
sam May 31, 2012 04:59am
windows are open but doors are closed sadly...
Namdhari May 31, 2012 05:05am
In spite of being humiliated in IPL aution ,Pakistani wants IPL .Were your self pride.Not even afridi says he wont play IPL.Paisa boltha hai ----
Chris May 31, 2012 01:42pm
There is a big misconception in Pakistan and among Pakistanis that Pakistani pleayers are very popular in India. Yes we do appreciate handful of them like Waseem Akram and Rameez Raja because they are decent guys but we certainly dont like majority of them speacially after Afridi and co. comment on Indians after world cup defeat. They are despearte to play with India just beacuse of economical reasons not beacuse they want peace with India.
Anup May 31, 2012 09:28pm
Lets test this theory Wasimbhai. Ask your paki players if they would be willing to play in the IPL for no compensation and only to improve the image of their country amongst Indians. My bet is that they will opt to back out. Proves our (Indians') point that its all about money.
doodoo Jun 01, 2012 03:17am
This is fun please everyone continue.
masroor Jun 02, 2012 11:33am
well done shekhar your santence showing like good spirit of game