A cricket lover's dream: Dubai offers to host India-Pakistan bilateral series

A bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan is a cricket lover's dream but, with the current political and diplomatic tensions between the two countries, that seems a distant proposition

Nov 25, 2021
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Dubai offers to host India-Pakistan bilateral series

A bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan is a cricket lover's dream but, with the current political and diplomatic tensions between the two countries, that seems a distant proposition. However, Dubai might be ready to make that dream come true. 

Dubai Cricket Council Chairman Abdul Rahman Falaknaz has come up with a solution and offered to host the arch-rivals.

India and Pakistan competed in a group match at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021, where Pakistan broke the 27-year-old jinx and stunned India with a 10-wicket victory at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

“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 to Khaleej Times.

The neighbouring sides haven't played a bilateral series since 2013, when Pakistan toured India for three T20 Internationals and two One Day Internationals.

Dubai Cricket Council chief recalled a time when Bollywood legend Raj Kapoor watched a match between India and Pakistan in Sharjah.

“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,'” Falaknaz said.

“So this is what we would like to do. If we can convince India to come and play here against Pakistan once a year or twice a year, it would be fantastic.”

Falaknaz also stressed his willingness to host more matches of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“In 2014, when they shifted the IPL to the UAE due to elections, we gave them a warm reception. It all depends on the BCCI to decide what they want to do.

Earlier this year, the BCCI took the second leg of the IPL 2021 to the UAE due to COVID-19 pandemic and rising cases in India.

“So, I would invite BCCI to come and hold their IPL matches. Even if it is part of IPL to start here and finish in India or to start in India and finish in Dubai," Falaknaz told Khaleej Times (SAM)