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'I think cricket can revive India-Pakistan relations'

Last updated on: March 07, 2014 10:14 IST

'I think cricket can revive India-Pakistan relations'

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Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has called for the revival of cricketing ties between India and his country, saying the game can improve relations between the two countries. 

"The way I enjoyed my cricket in India, I never enjoyed anywhere else. We are, after all, neighbours. The relations should be good between us. Cricket can only help better the relations," he said. 

Asked whether India and Pakistan should play more often, he replied: "It should be like that only. Pakistan have always supported India at every step. Despite threats, Pakistan have always toured India. I think cricket can only revive India-Pakistan relations. Sport brings friendship." 

Afridi hit two sixes in the last over to seal a thrilling one-wicket victory for Pakistan against India, in yet another thrilling match between the two arch-rivals in the Asia Cup on March 1, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

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Image: Pakistan players appeal during the Asia Cup match against India
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Pakistan have always supported India at every step

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Asked about Pakistan players' prospects of playing in the cash-rich Indian Premier League, Afridi said, "Ask your Indian government; why ask me!"

He was all praise for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"No doubt, the way Dhoni carries his team forward is commendable... I always praise Dhoni's captaincy. Credit goes to Dhoni for having the right combination in the side," he said. 

"But, I think, if a player clicks on a given day, it's his day.

"India-Pakistan matches have always been close ones. Nobody had a clue who's winning the [Asia Cup] match. People also enjoy these sort of matches." 

He said he always likes to be pressure-free while batting. 

"If I think about the shots, then I won't be able to perform. I just back my instincts."


Image: Shahid Afridi celebrates after clinching victory against India
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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