Chairman of Dubai Cricket Council Abdul Rahman Falaknaz has put forward an offer to host Pakistan-India bilateral cricket series. The offer has come after almost a month since the arch-rivals battled against each other in an ICC T20 World Cup match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The T20 World Cup, won by Australia, was played across three venues located in Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi in the UAE while a few matches of the preliminary round were played in Oman.
According to reports, Falaknaz said, “The best thing would be to get India-Pakistan matches here. When Sharjah used to host India and Pakistan all those years ago, it was like a war. But it was a good war, it was a sporting war and it was fantastic”.
Pakistan and India have not played bilateral cricket series since 2013, due to political tensions between the countries. In 2013, the Green Shirts had visited India to play three T20s and two One Day Internationals.
The DCC chief recalled, “I remember [Bollywood actor] Raj Kapoor came once with his family. During the awards night, he took the mic and said, ‘How wonderful it is to have these India-Pakistan battles in Sharjah. Cricket brings people together, cricket has brought us together and let us remain this way”.
He added, “So this is what we would like to do. If we can convince India to come and play here against Pakistan once a year or twice a year, it would be fantastic.”
The DCC chief further expressed willingness to host more Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the future.
Falaknaz said, “In 2014, when they shifted the IPL to the UAE due to elections, we gave them a warm reception. It all depends on the BCCI to decide what they want to do”.
He added, “We are very friendly with them”. The chief noted that the BCCI had seen “our potential in 2014 and more this year. In 2014, they played 20 matches. Out of the 20 matches, 19 were fully sold”.
He suggested, “So, I would invite BCCI to come and hold their IPL matches. Even if it is part of IPL to start here and finish in India or to start in India and finish in Dubai”.