Akram bats for Indo-Pak bilateral ties

Pace legend Wasim Akram feels it is high time that the bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan are revived as the fans in sub-continent deserve to enjoy the historic rivalry which has produced some exhilarating action on the field.

“I have always maintained that sports and politics should not be mixed. India-Pakistan matches have produced some of the best cricket in the world and it is very unfortunate that we have been denied this due to non-sporting reasons,” Akram told PTI ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India.

Sharif is scheduled to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on Monday.

Akram said inclusion of Pakistan players would add the sheen of IPL.

Pakistani players have been barred from taking part in the IPL since the inaugural edition in 2008 due to the Mumbai terror attacks.

“I am sure that a lot of the Pakistan players would have added value to the teams if they were allowed to play. Also, there is massive interest in IPL in Pakistan which would have only been far more if the participation of players was allowed,” said the bowling coach of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

When asked about KKR’s performance this year, which started with a series of losses before six wins on the trot, Akram said that new combination of players takes time to deliver.

“It was a new team and a new combination of players and at times it does take time for things to come together. The team is filled with talented players and it was just a matter of time before things started to click.

“All the boys are getting along very well now and the results are showing,” said the former fast bowler who has taken 414 and 502 wickets for Pakistan in 104 tests and 356 ODIs respectively.

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