Srinagar: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has said that Pakistan previously came to India for cricket despite receiving threats and India should also do the same.
Amid the talk of India likely not to travel to Pakistan for Asia Cup, Afridi feels that Pakistan are ready to welcome the Indian team for the tournament and urged the BCCI to keep aside political tensions and send their side.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket, Afridi was asked how matters will improve if there is constant retaliation.
“Who is saying no to Asia Cup? India is saying no,” the veteran cricketer said.
Afridi added that Pakistan team had once faced threat from an Indian, who he did not wish to name, but yet the Pakistan government had kept differences aside to send the team to India and hence wishes the same form the Indian government this time.
“Aap Indian team ko bheje toh sahi, humlog sar aankhon par rakhenge (You just send the Indian team to Pakistan and we will welcome them with great pleasure). Before this, an Indian from Mumbai, won’t take his name, had threatened Pakistan that they won’t be allowed in India. But we kept all aside and our government had taken it up as a responsibility and Pakistan team did go to India. So threats should not ruin our relationship. Threats will remain,” he said.
The former all-rounder further exemplified by recalling India’s tour of Pakistan in 2004/05 and how players like Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh received respect from the people of Pakistan.
“It would have been really nice if India had come. It would have been a step towards cricket and Pakistan for India. This is not a generation of wars and fights, we want relationships to get better. We have played against India with a lot of love and affection. I remember when we came to India, we got an outstanding response. If you remember the 2005 series, Harbhajan and Yuvraj used to go shopping and to restaurants, and no one used to charge them money. This is the beauty of the two nations,” he said.