'India & Pak can play for Jinnah-Gandhi Trophy'

Kolkata, (Mail Today): Reviving ties between India and Pakistan was at the top of Zaka Ashraf’s agenda from the day he took over as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

And having fulfilled his primary dream, he is now looking forward to a series on the lines of the coveted Ashes played between England and Australia.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the second ODI between India and Pakistan at the Eden Gardens, he said that the dream of cricket fans in both countries to see the teams play a series had finally been fulfilled and now it was time to move forward.

“From the very first day I have been looking at reviving cricketing ties between the two countries and I must say that the BCCI has been really accommodative and this wouldn’t have been possible on my own or if only the PCB showed interest. But now that we have revived cricketing ties, the PCB has floated the idea of having a series between the two teams on the lines of the Ashes,” he said.

“I am not saying that we need to play every year, but maybe once in two years. That is our next agenda. We can even name the trophy on great leaders like Jinnah and Gandhi. Depriving fans of the delight of watching these exciting matches isn’t fair.”

Ashraf believes that having someone like N Srinivasan as BCCI president has really helped revive cricketing ties between the two countries.

“Srinivasan comes from a business background just like me and I feel we understand the importance of improving relations. BCCI has been very supportive in our endeavour and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for providing us with such warmth. We didn’t have such a great working relationship before, but things are really improving,” he said.

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