Dubai Cricket Council chairman has offered to host India-Pakistan matches in the UAE. Photograph:( AFP )
The chairman of the Dubai Cricket Council - Abdul Rahman Falaknaz has offered to make UAE a neutral venue for the India-Pakistan bilateral matches.
Dubai Cricket Council chairman Abdul Rahman Falaknaz has offered to host India-Pakistan matches in the UAE making the country a neutral venue for both teams. India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series between them since 2013 owing to the political tension between the two nations.
After successfully hosting the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and the recently-concluded T20 World Cup 2021, Falaknaz believes UAE can serve as the perfect venue for high voltage India-Pakistan clashes. While India have refused to travel to Pakistan, BCCI might agree to host games against the arch-rivals at a neutral venue like the UAE.
Recalling the good old days when India and Pakistan used to play regularly in Sharjah, Falaknaz said the matches between the two teams used to be like a sporting war on the field. He said getting India and Pakistan playing in the UAE will be the best thing for the Emirates Cricket Board.
"The best thing would be to get India-Pakistan matches here. When Sharjah used to host India and Pakistan all those years ago, it was like a war. But it was a good war, it was a sporting war and it was fantastic," Falaknaz was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times.
"I remember (Bollywood actor) Raj Kapoor came once with his family. During the awards night, he took the mic and said, ‘How wonderful it is to have these India-Pakistan battles in Sharjah. Cricket brings people together, cricket has brought us together, and let us remain this way'," he added.
India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series between them since 2013 but continue to meet in the major ICC events. The arch-rivals recently locked horns in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai where the Babar Azam-led side defeated India by ten wickets to get off to a winning start in the tournament.
With their comprehensive ten-wicket win, Pakistan brought an end to their losing streak against India in World Cup matches and bagged their first win against the Men in Blue in a World Cup game.