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'Cricket relations between India and Pakistan are very important'

April 30, 2014 10:45 IST

Legendary cricketer Imran Khan has called for improved sporting and political relations between India and Pakistan and believes the two neighbouring countries could co-exist peacefully and in cooperation in the region. 

Imran Khan"My view has always been that cricket relations between the two countries are very important to foster better relations among the people at least," Imran said. 

The former Pakistan captain, who now heads his Tehreek-e-Insaaf party which rules in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province and is a major opposition party now at the national level, said India and Pakistan could gain a lot from each other if they co-existed peacefully. 

"We can gain a lot but lose by having bitter relations," he said in an interview to Ary News channel in Dubai. Imran speaking on cricket issues pinpointed Pakistani left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan as a match-winner for the national side. 

"There is lot of general talent in Pakistan team but if you ask me we have one talent that no other team has and that is the pace bowler, Irfan," Imran said about the 7 feet tall pace bowler. 

"I recently spoke to Wasim Akram and we agreed that if Irfan is taken proper care off and learns the art of top bowling and is groomed well than he can be a match winner for Pakistan," the cricketer-turned-politician said. 

"If Irfan takes care of his fitness I see him playing a impact role in the next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand," the former skipper added. 

Asked about reports that players like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar were close to joining his party, a smiling Imran said this should not surprise anyone. 

"Where else can cricketers go except join the party because they know me well and they know what the party stands for what every Pakistani citizen wants," he said. 

Image: Imran Khan

Photo: Getty Images