Hyderabad, Nov. (ANI): Former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin on Thursday welcomed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)'s decision to invite the Pakistani cricket team to play in India and said that games like cricket connecting both sides should not be seen politically.
"In 2004, our relationships have become warmer due to regular cricket between both countries. We can't move forward if we will see it politically," added Azharuddin.
The BCCI has invited Pakistan to play three one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches in December-January, the first bilateral contests between the arch-rivals in five years.
The Shiv Sena chief has in his party mouthpiece 'Saamna' criticized Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for his statement 'to forget the past' and play cricket with Pakistan.
Shinde had earlier on Friday welcomed Pakistani team's visit to India, saying sportsmanship should be maintained and that one must not ponder over what happened in the past.
Thackeray had earlier termed the BCCI's invitation to Pakistan's cricket team as a matter of 'national shame'.
He also accused the BCCI of 'betraying the country for sake of money' and Indian cricketers of being part of that betrayal.
Thackeray considers it an insult to those who had lost their lives in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The BCCI earlier announced that it had secured the government's clearance to host Pakistan for a short tour later this year. (ANI)