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‘ICC lacks guts to pursue BCCI over Indo-Pak series’
By Mohammad Abdullah November 11, 2017
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Sharjah: Bowling legend Wasim Akram expressed his anger over ICC’s lackadaisical attitude of not pursuing India to play a bilateral series against arch-rival Pakistan.

“I don’t think ICC has the guts to pursue BCCI. I have always said sports should be kept away from politics,” said Akram.

“The interest, passion and pressure of a match played between the two south Asian rivals are unparalleled. Such kind of pressure is not felt even during the Ashes.

“How many people watch the Ashes? Two million or three million at the most while an India-Pakistan game is watched by 1.3 billion people,” asserted the former captain of Pakistan.

“I have grown up with Pakistani cricket. And it is very sad for the young generation of both the countries to have been deprived of such an entertainment,” lamented the Sultan of swing.

Akram is as popular in India as in Pakistan. He has been the bowling coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Now he will be seen imparting his invaluable insights in the bowling department to the Maratha Arabians in the upcoming T-10 Cricket League (TCL), which will be held in December in Sharjah.

Commenting on the advent of shorter formats like T-20 and T-10 following the ODIs, he said, “I don’t think such leagues or shorter formats will take the sheen off cricket. People don’t have time nowadays.

“Cricket is evolving and new formats are evolving. When T-20 was introduced, people had criticised it; today it has become so popular.

“But it is entertainment and I think T-10 is similarly going to provide entertainment,” he added.

Akram, who was speaking on the sidelines of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), also praised many of his compatriots and current players.

“I have played with many greats like Sir Viv Richards, Allan Border, Dennis Lille, Ian Botham and Sunil Gavaskar. But my prize wicket till date is that of Gavaskar. I always say he is a perfect example of batting. If someone wants to learn the art of batting with a straight bat and without a helmet, he should see the Little Master,” stressed Akram.

Akram has taken 414 and 502 wickets in 104 Tests and 356 ODIs respectively. He has guided Pakistan to many famous victories both in Tests and ODIs. He is considered to be the one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket. He also lauded Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis.

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