World cricket needs resumption of Pak-India cricket rivalry: Shoaib Malik

World cricket needs resumption of Pak-India cricket rivalry: Shoaib Malik

ISLAMABAD-:Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik said there was a need for resuming the Pakistan-India cricket ties, just like the world cricket needed the Ashes, saying both series were played with same passion and have a great history.

“I think the cricket world badly needs revival of Pakistaan-India cricket ties, in the same way that world cricket needs the Ashes. Could England and Australia imagine Test cricket without an Ashes series? Both series are played with the same kind of passion and have such a great history, so it is a shame that we don’t play right now.”

“Also, I have Pakistani friends who love to talk about Indian cricketers with respect and admiration. Similarly, I and my Pakistan team-mates are given such love and support when we play in India so it is a cricket rivalry that I would like to see return as soon as it is possible,” quoted Malik as saying.

Speaking about Pakistan’s chances if this year’s Twenty20 World Cup takes place, Malik, who scored 2,321 runs in 110 T20s, said he believes Pakistan’s chances were very good.

“In order to win these kinds of events, you have to have a very strong bowling attack and I think we have that box ticked. In addition, we also have a good batting line-up to complement that strong bowling attack.”

“Not only that, but our fielding has also developed and improved over the years, which is important on big grounds. Our fitness is much improved and better than it was in previous years, so overall, I think we will be right up there as a team that stands a very good chance of winning this tournament if it goes ahead,” he said.

Malik, who scored 1,898 runs in 35 Tests, also praised the changes made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in domestic cricket. “The PCB has made some very positive changes in domestic cricket, like going with a reduced number of elite teams and improving the quality of the cricket,” he said.

Malik, who in 287 ODIs scored 7,534 runs, said the main thing he would like to see changed was further strengthening of the grassroots cricket, especially in terms of school, college and club cricket. “So much good work has been done by the PCB to improve the Pakistan team’s fielding and fitness and more in recent years and I just hope this professionalism will filter down to the various levels. With Wasim Khan (PCB Chief Executive Officer) at the helm, I am confident this will be done. I feel Pakistan cricket is in good hands,” he said.