Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has come out in support of resuming India-Pakistan cricket ties and has claimed that he would like to captain his country in a Test match against arch-rivals India. Misbah has expressed a desire to face India, but has stressed that politics should be kept out of the sport.
The India-Pakistan debate surfaced recently after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur issued a statement saying that there will be no cricket matches between the two countries until Islamabad stops sponsoring terrorism. This led to a wave of criticism from former Pakistani cricketers, who hit out at Thakur and said that such opinions should not come from the head of what is the most powerful cricketing body in the world.
Misbah has also asked for politics to be kept out of the sport and added that the game could bring the people of the two countries together.
"Pakistan is always ready to play against India but what can we do if they do not want to play. If India can play against Pakistan in ICC events then why not bilateral in bilateral series? As a player I would like to play against India. I would want to captain our side against them. But unless politics is kept away from cricket than there can't be a resumption of bilateral ties," said Misbah, as quoted by Indian Express.
The two countries last played a bilateral series in 2012, when Pakistan toured India for a short One Day International (ODI) series. However, the arch-rivals have faced off in international tournaments over the years, the most recent being in the group stage of the ICC T20 World Cup held earlier this year.
The two nations have also been drawn in the same group of the 2017 Champions Trophy, which will be held in England. They are scheduled to face-off on 4 June 2017 at Edgbaston, Birmingham.