Despite tension on the border in the wake of Pakistan army men crossing over into Indian territory and mutilating and killing jawans here and doubts over Indian cricket team’s participation in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, the former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi in a column for International Cricket Council’s official website wrote that he hopes to see ‘the mouth-watering India-Pakistan face-off in the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston.’ Afridi said he is excited like millions of fans around the world and is looking “forward to a highly entertaining match between the two traditional rivals, who have a rich cricketing history between them.”
Afridi who represented Pakistan in 398 ODIs and 98 T20Is, however, accepted that it is the only major ICC tournament where Pakistan has achieved success over India. “The Champions Trophy is the only ICC event where Pakistan have had successes against India. We won the 2004 match at Edgbaston and then the 2009 match at Centurion. I hope the Men in Green deliver a rousing performance at Edgbaston to improve their record against India in global events,” he wrote.
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India is scheduled to take on Pakistan on 4th June in its opening game but in the wake of ICC proposing a new financial model which reduces BCCI’s revenues from $570 million to $293 million, the Indian board didn’t announce its squad for the tournament even though the deadline given by ICC was 25th April. On Thursday a letter was issued by CoA to all office-bearers according to the news agency PTI stating how the delay in team selection is portraying Indian cricket and cricketers in “negative” light.
The agency reported that COA reminded the office-bearers and state unit officials that the “players’ interest should be paramount”. “Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better,” the letter states.