There is a reason why the tickets for the June 4 clash in Champions Trophy 2017 or the October 24 clash in T20 World Cup 2021 were sold out within minutes of ICC opening the ticket window. Cricket fans all across the globe still await the India-Pakistan clash. And even while players of both teams have always played down the hype, calling it “just another game”, it remains the most anticipating clash during any multi-nation event. However, the two neighbouring nations haven’t been playing bilateral matches since 2012 and former PCB chairman Tauqir Zia claims that the problem lies on the “government-to-government level.”
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Tauqir admitted that the BCCI never refused to play against Pakistan and in fact he feels that both Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president and PCB chairman Ramiz Raja want to promote the sport.
“BCCI has never refused to play against us [Pakistan]. The problem lies on the government-to-government level. Both cricketing boards are currently run by former cricketers who understand the importance of Pakistan-India matches. Sourav Ganguly and Ramiz Raja both want to promote cricket and there is nothing better than seeing a contest between these rivals,” said Tauqir.
Tauqir further talked about the idea of a four-nation tournament that was recently pitched by Ramiz at the ICC meeting last month, but was rejected.
“Although the four-nation series was a great idea there are already so many franchise-model tournaments happening throughout the year. Because of this, I do not think there will be enough room left to gather the four nations in one timeframe,” he said.
The four nations included Australia, England, India, and Pakistan and talking about the plan, Ramiz had stated: “Great discussion regarding 4 Nations series today at the ICC meeting. As a concept, it was welcomed and debated upon and seen as promoting the interest in the game. Fingers crossed. More when I am back at the office tomorrow.”
Since 2012, India and Pakistan have only met in ICC events and in Asia Cup tournaments. The last time India met Pakistan was in the 2021 T20 World Cup where Babar Azam’s men had defeated the Men in Blue by 10 wickets in their group-stage tie.