Political rivalry between the two countries robbing current generaton: Akhtar

Vastavam web: Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels cricketers in India and Pakistan are being denied a chance to experience the historic cross-border sporting rivalry between the two countries due to politics.India and Pakistan have not played a full bilateral series since 2007 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.”It is terribly sad that cricketers from either side of the border are not often getting to experience the Indo-Pak rivalry. Along with the Ashes, it is the biggest series in the game,” Akhtar told

The cricketers are not getting a chance to become overnight heroes for their respective countries. Pakistan cricketers are adored in India, I myself have got so much love from India.”I really wanted the current Pakistani crop to experience the same kind of love we received in India back in the day and showcase their talent,” said the flamboyant fast bowler, who considers himself fortunate to have been a part of many Indo- Pak battles.”Indo-Pak cricket should happen but if it is not happening, one should move on and avoid making statements,” said the ‘Rawalpindi Express’.

As things stand now, the two teams meet only in ICC events. They clashed twice in the Champions Trophy in England last year with Pakistan taking sweet revenge of their league stage loss in the final.”I feel bilateral series won’t happen until bilateral talks resume between the two countries. And in the current scenario, one doesn’t know if cricket diplomacy will work or not,” he explained.”It is a bit strange and sad that it will be decided at the diplomatic level when it is often said the sports should be left aside from politics,” he added.