It remains to be seen whether Sourav Ganguly will once again play the catalyst to India and Pakistan resuming bilateral ties on the cricket pitch as former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif has urged the BCCI president to “help” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in taking talks of Indo-Pak matches forward. Former wicketkeeper batsman Latif said it was Ganguly, then India captain, who played a big role in India agreeing to tour Pakistan in 2004 despite BCCI’s reluctance. “As a cricketer and BCCI President, Ganguly can help (Ehsan) Mani and the PCB,” Latif was quoted as saying by ‘The Nation’.
“Unless full-fledged Pakistan-India bilateral series resumes, things won’t improve for both countries. The world wants to see Pak-India playing cricket,” he said.
“PCB CEO Wasim Khan should also play his active part to ensure top cricket-playing nations come and tour Pakistan as it will help Pakistan cricket and local players.”
“In 2004, when the BCCI was reluctant to tour Pakistan, it was (Sourav) Ganguly, who persuaded the BCCI and players. It was a highly memorable tour for India as they managed to win big here after a long gap,” Latif added.
India clinched the five-match ODI series 3-2 while they also won the three-match Test series 2-1. India and Pakistan only meet in ICC tournaments now due to political tensions between the two countries.
Pakistan welcomed back Test cricket after a long gap when Sri Lanka toured the nation recently. Pakistan won the series 2-0.
“The arrival of Sri Lankan team after more than a decade was a sigh of relief for not only struggling Pakistani cricket but also for long-suffering masses. Majority of our cricket grounds have also suffered badly in the absence of international matches,” Latif added.