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'Fact is people of both the countries enjoy Indo-Pak cricket'

September 16, 2013 09:44 IST

'Fact is people of both the countries enjoy Indo-Pak cricket'

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Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq has hoped India's decision to allow local team Faisalabad to play on Indian soil will open up more cricket opportunities between the two nations. 

Misbah will lead Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 champions Faisalabad in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League starting in the Indian town of Mohali on Tuesday after New Delhi cleared the tour. 

India had stalled all bilateral cricket with Pakistan in the wake of 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and -- with the exception of a short tour by Pakistan late last year -- there have been no signs of full series revival amid heightened tensions between the two countries. 

But Misbah said matches between the two cricket-obsessed nations should not be halted by politics. 

"I feel cricket must go on," said Misbah. "Giving a Pakistani team clearance is a positive sign and I hope this will help open more doors for
Indo-Pak cricket."




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'It's necessary to have regular exchange of cricket'

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Pakistan humiliatingly lost the second Test in Harare to level the two-match series at 1-1. Misbah will join the rest of the Faisalabad squad in India.

Despite the tensions between India and Pakistan, Misbah said people on both sides of the border enjoy cricket. 

"It is a fact that people of both the countries enjoy Indo-Pak cricket and it is necessary for both the countries to have regular exchange of cricket tours because it minimizes tensions and brings people together," said Misbah. 

Misbah denied players would be scared by recent tensions, sparked by a string of recent clashes in the disputed Kashmir region. 

"When we play cricket, people forget everything," he said. "We never expect and never fear any aggression. I am going to India with an open mind, with a message of friendship and peace, as always."




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