Shahid Afridi Supports Rohit Sharma’s Call for India-Pakistan Cricket Series Resumption


The cricketing ties between India and Pakistan have long been stalled due to political tensions, with the last bilateral series taking place over a decade ago. However, recent comments by India captain Rohit Sharma suggesting a revival of these fixtures have sparked conversations across the cricketing world, prompting a response from former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

In a recent podcast session with former England captain Michael Vaughan, Rohit Sharma was asked, “Don’t you think India playing Pakistan regularly will be fantastic for Test cricket?”. Responding with enthusiasm, Rohit agreed and highlighted the cricketing merit of such a series. He emphasized the capabilities of the Pakistan team, particularly their “superb bowling line-up,” and acknowledged the intense competition that the matches would entail. “The last Test was played way back in 2007-08. Yeah, I would love to (play against Pakistan), it would be a great contest between two sides. We play them in ICC trophies, pure cricket I am looking at, great contest, so why not?”

Shahid Afridi, reciprocating Rohit’s positivity, shared his views on a leading Pakistani sports channel, Samaa TV. He commended the Indian captain’s stance and referred to it as a “very good answer.” Afridi, known for his forthright opinions, elaborated on the potential of sports, particularly cricket, in mending and enhancing bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries. He nostalgically recalled the times when the teams visited each other’s countries, fostering goodwill and friendship through the sport of cricket.

Afridi expressed, “Bilkul bahut acha jawab hai, hona bhi yahi chahiye (Absolutely, a very good answer, it should indeed happen).” Highlighting the diplomatic role of sports, he said, “A positive statement from an Indian captain. He is also an ambassador of India. We have always said that the relationship between Pakistan and India…sports, especially cricket, has played an important role. We used to go to India and play cricket there. These things build relationships….padosi hai padosiyo ka haq hota relationship jitna behtar ho utna acha hai (neighbors have a right to have a good relationship).”

The dialogue on resuming cricketing ties comes at a poignant time as both teams, loaded with talent and potential, continue to meet occasionally at major ICC events but not in bilateral series. Just last year, the teams faced each other during the ODI World Cup in India, a high-octane match which India won by seven wickets. Anticipation is high as the teams are scheduled to clash again in the upcoming T20 World Cup, set to be played in New York on June 9.

As the cricket communities and fans from both nations are intrigued by the prospect of a regular series, the opinions and exchange between influential figures like Rohit Sharma and Shahid Afridi play a crucial role in shaping public and political sentiment towards a positive discourse. While the path to resuming full-fledged cricketing ties may still require negotiation and diplomacy, the mutual respect and keen interest shown by players and former players keep the hope alive.

In the broader perspective, the discussions serve as a reminder of the unifying power of sports. It underscores the ability of cricket to bridge divides, amend relationships, and foster bonds between nations bound by geography and history but separated by politics. As the cricketing fraternity and enthusiasts from both India and Pakistan look forward, they remain hopeful for the return of the much-celebrated and eagerly awaited matchups that rise beyond mere sport to occasions of shared joy and camaraderie.

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