Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram on Friday hit out at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) inability to pursue the BCCI to play a bilateral series with Pakistan. Akram, popularly known as the Sultan of Swing, said it is very unfortunate that young cricketers from Pakistan and India are unable to play against each other. The 51-year-old lashed out at the ICC for failing to initiate an India-Pakistan series which he felt should be separated from politics. “I don’t think ICC has the power to pursue BCCI, but again I have always said people-to-people contact is necessary. Politics and sport should be separate,” Akram was quoted as saying by Geo TV. The legendary left-arm pacer further said that an India-Pakistan clash is more exciting to watch than the high-octane Ashes series between traditional rivals England and Australia. “A Pakistan-India match is more fun to watch than the Ashes. Twenty million people watch the Ashes while a Pakistan-India match is watched by a billion people,” emphasised Akram, who took 502 wickets from 356 ODIs.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in 2014, had agreed to play six bilateral series with Pakistan from 2015 to 2023, four of which were to be hosted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). However, with political tensions across the border, the BCCI has refused to play any of the agreed series yet, neither in Pakistan nor at any neutral venue. The arch-rivals, however, met in ICC tournaments with the Champions Trophy final in June being the latest when the Sarfraz Ahmed-led Green Brigade thrashed Virat Kohli’s side by 180 runs in London.