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‘World badly needs India- Pakistan cricket rivalry to resume’ Shoaib Akhtar

NEW DELHI, 23 JUNE. India and Pakistan have had several memorable matches over the years. The image of Venkatesh Prasad cleaning up Aamir Sohail and then sending him off is still etched in the minds of millions of cricket fans from both the countries.

The moment when Javed Miandad hit a six on the final ball to win the match for Pakistan is another. There was also a moment when wicketkeeper Kiran More flustered Miandad who lost his cool and started jumping up in frustration on the field.

Besides the banter, the two cricket teams have also played some thrilling encounters at the ICC tournaments - the 2007 T20I World Cup final and the 2017 Champions Trophy final being two of them.

But due to strained relationships between the two countries, India and Pakistan have not played bilateral series in eight years, and now only compete with each other in ICC tournaments. The last bilateral series between the two countries was back in 2012 when Pakistan visited India for two tT20Is and three ODIs.

Veteran Pakistan allrounder believes that the two countries should resume their cricket rivalry for the world to see. “I think the world badly needs this rivalry to resume, in the same way that world cricket needs the Ashes,” Malik told

“Could England and Australia imagine Test cricket without an Ashes series? Both series are played with the same kind of passion and have such a great history, so it is a shame that we don’t play right now,” he added. “Also, I have Pakistani friends who love to talk about Indian cricketers with respect and admiration. Similarly, I and my Pakistan team-mates are given such love and support when we play in India so it is a rivalry that I would like to see return as soon as it is possible,” the cricketer further said.

Recalling his favourite memories of playing against India, Malik further added: From a personal point of view the 2009 Champions Trophy match at Centurion when I was Man of the Match after scoring 128 and the Asia Cup match in Sri Lanka in 2004 where I scored 143 from 127 balls and took the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh are great memories.”

“But I also enjoyed the oneoff ODI in Kolkata in 2004 when we chased 293 to win. It was a day before Eid and the atmosphere inside Eden Gardens in that floodlit match was incredible,” he added.

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