Wasim Akram hopeful of Indo-Pak series

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Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 13:20 [IST]
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Akram hopeful of Indo-Pak series

Karachi, May 29: Legendary Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram on Tuesday was confident about positive signs that India and Pakistan are to resume cricketing ties, after four years of suspension due to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf visited India to watch the Indian Premier League final and is negotiating a revival between the two nations.

The BCCI has allowed the Pakistan Twenty20 champions Sialkot Stallions to take part in October's Champions League T20, the first team from Pakistan to participate since 2008.

Akram, bowling coach of IPL 5 champions Kolkata Knight Riders, said there were signs of a thaw.

"I acted as an ambassador for Pakistan as everyone knows me and during my stay I have seen that people want Indo-Pak cricket to start and for me the invitation for Sialkot is the first step," Akram told AFP.

Pakistan players participated in the inaugural IPL season in 2008 and Sialkot was supposed to feature in the first Champions League tournament the same year, but cricketing ties were suspended due to the terror attacks.

"Pakistani players Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez are popular in India and Indian fans have realised they can add to the charm of the league," said Akram, who played 104 Tests and 352 one-day internationals for Pakistan.

Wasim further said absence of cricket matches between the two nations is a big setback for millions of fans.

"I am a great advocate of Indo-Pak cricket and I hope all the issues between the two countries are solved so that millions of fans are not deprived of such entertaining cricket," said Wasim, who led Pakistan on the tour of India in 1999.

Speaking about Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka, Akram said: "Pakistan has done well in the past year and although it will be tough playing Sri Lanka on their home grounds I am sure this Pakistan team will do well."

Pakistan plays two Twenty20, five one-days and three Tests on the tour of Sri Lanka, with the first Twenty20 taking place in Hambantota on Friday.


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