India’s first flamboyant wicket-keeper batsman, Farokh Engineer has called for Pakistan Tests. The former player said he would love to see Indo-Pak rivalry resume in cricket.
Engineer is hopeful that the newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan uses his political influence to restore Test match links between the nations. The last time the arch-rivals India and Pakistan turned out for a five-day cricket match was back in 2007.
Despite wild fervour about the game in both nations, the bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan have suffered for political tensions. However, the two nations have faced each other in multi-nation events such as ICC World Cup, WT20 or Asia Cup.
Imran Khan can bring change
Imran Khan, one of the biggest names in Pakistan Cricket, has been elected as Prime Minister earlier this year. Speaking at the inaugural Ranji Memorial Public Conversation on Cricket in London this week, Engineer spoke on India-Pakistan cricket ties.
“Imran Khan, he is the prime minister now. Hopefully, India and Pakistan will start a dialogue. They should be playing Test cricket against each other because it will do Pakistan cricket, their economy, a world of good. But you hear about border skirmishes and this and that. They’ve got to have dialogue,” said Engineer.
I would love India to play Pakistan or vice versa. But it is a question of convincing the political leaders. Basically, we are the same people. Both countries have extremely talented cricketers and I, for one, would love to see that happen but unfortunately, the brakes are on.
Politics should not interfere with sports
Engineer also expressed that political tensions should not interfere with sports. “Unfortunately, the Indian government controls the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) or they (the BCCI) have been using that as an excuse,” added Farokh Engineer.
He was of the opinion that people from both countries want cricket ties to resume. He said, “as a cricketer, I would love India to play Pakistan or vice versa. But it is a question of convincing the political leaders. Basically, we are the same people. Both countries have extremely talented cricketers and I, for one, would love to see that happen but unfortunately, the brakes are on.”