Covid-19: Akhtar proposes Indo-Pak series to raise funds for fight against pandemic

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday proposed a three-match ODI series against arch-rivals India to raise funds for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in each the international locations.

The two nations haven’t performed a full-series since 2007 due to the terrorist assaults on India by Pakistan-based outfits and the resultant diplomatic stress. They solely play one another in ICC occasions and Asia Cup.

“In this time of crisis, I want to propose a three match series in which for the first time, the people of neither country would be upset at the outcome of the games,” Akhtar informed PTI from Islamabad.

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“If Virat (Kohli) scores a hundred, we will be happy, if Babar Azam scores a hundred, you will be happy. Both teams will be winners irrespective of whatever happens on the field,” he mentioned.

“You are bound to get massive viewership for the games. For the first time, both countries will play for each other. And whatever funds are generated through this can be donated equally to the government of India and Pakistan to fight this pandemic,” added the 44-year-old.

With each international locations in a lockdown amid the fast-spreading pandemic, the video games can solely be organised when issues enhance. However, Akhtar feels the earlier they’re held, the higher it could be however couldn’t inform how the logistics of such an initiative can be labored out.

“Everyone is sitting at dwelling for the time being, so there might be a large following for the video games. May be not now, when issues begin enhancing, the video games may very well be organised at a impartial location like Dubai. Chartered flights may very well be organized and the matches might he held.

“It could even lead to resumption of bilateral cricketing ties and relations of both countries improve diplomatically. You never know,” mentioned the ‘Rawalpindi Express’

“The whole world will tune into it, so much money can be raised to deal with this crisis. In difficult times, the character of the nation comes forward.”

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In these extraordinary instances, Akhtar feels each international locations ought to assist one another.

“If India can make 10,000 ventilators for us, Pakistan will remember this gesture forever. But we can only propose the matches. The rest is up to the authorities (to decide).”

India cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh have been lately trolled for asking their social media followers to donate to Shahid Afridi’s charity basis which is doing its bit in Pakistan’s fight against the lethal virus.

“It was inhuman to criticise them. It is not about countries or religion at the moment, it is about humanity,” he opined.

Akhtar has spent a number of time in India as a commentator. He fondly recalled his days in Mumbai through the World T20 in 2016, the final time he got here to India for work.

“I am forever grateful about the love I have received from the people of India. For the first time I am revealing this, whatever I used to earn from India, I made a significant amount there, thirty percent of it, I used to distribute among the low income staff who used to work with me in the TV,” he remembered.

Akhtar used to go to the town’s slum areas together with his face coated to hand out monetary assist to elder ladies there.

“From drivers, runners to my safety guys. I took care of lots of people. I used to be like if am incomes from this nation, I’ve to assist my colleagues additionally.

“I also remember visiting slums of Dharavi and Sion in the wee hours to meet people I worked with,” added Akhtar.

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