Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-Ul-Haq has wished for the resumption of the India-Pakistan bilateral series, which was last played in 2013 in India. Not just that, Inzamam also has claimed that the rivalry between the two neighbours is more famous than the historic series 'The Ashes'.
When India clashes against Pakistan, it is an elation of any cricketing fan to watch for. The level of intensity of this game is the foremost thing even a passive cricket viewer will acknowledge about. However, owing to the political tensions between the two neighbouring countries, their meeting has been limited to just ICC events.
During their last clash in a bilateral series, in 2012-13, Pakistan won 2-1 in the One-day internationals while sharing the T20I series with 1-1. Eight years after the clash, the two sides have not met outside the multi-team tournament format.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, who captained Pakistan in 87 ODIS, 31 Tests and a single T20I, wished for the resumption of the India-Pakistan bilateral series citing it as one of the intense rivalries that created strong bonds amongst the players of both sides.
"The on-field rivalry was intense, but at the end of the day, players respected each other and shared a camaraderie. Meri toh bari khwayaish hain ke yeh cheez dobara shuru ho jayein (I wish this (India-Pakistan series) resumes)”, Inzamam was quoted by Sportstar.
The Ashes played between Australia and England stands as the oldest and one of the bitterest cricket rivalries to date where the world has seen the ugliest fights being taken on the field. Inzamam believed that the India-Pakistan series was more followed than ‘The Ashes.’
"India-Pakistan series was followed much more than The Ashes and people thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment. For the betterment of the game and the players, it is important to have the Asia Cup and also bilateral series between India and Pakistan."
The 2020 Asia Cup was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the next tournament will take place with Pakistan likely to host the biennial tournament. Inzamam stressed how Pakistan players were enthusiastic while playing India in Asia Cup as it was a high-octane clash with the top-class cricket being displayed. "Each and every competition is important. In our times, the Asia Cup was a tournament where the top teams would compete. The more you play high-quality cricket, you develop your skills. For instance, if India were playing Pakistan, the players would be excited to put in their best efforts because they know the importance and intensity of these matches. That not only helps a player grow, but also helps him earn appreciation from the fans. I think it is important to have these tournaments."
Inzamam shared his experience about young players learning with the seniors from opposite camps and how open the seniors would be to share their knowledge. The former captain termed those moments as a ‘fantastic opportunity’.
"When we would play against each other, it was a great feeling. In those bilateral series, it was also an opportunity for the young cricketers to learn a thing or two from the senior players. Be it a Sachin Tendulkar or a Sourav Ganguly or Mohammad Azharuddin or Javed Miandad, the youngsters could just walk up to them and pick their brains. That was a fantastic opportunity to improve one’s game," he concluded.