Zaheer Abbas for India and Pakistan series

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Sep 16, 2015, 7:55 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 7:52 pm IST
Zaheer Abbas said a series between Asia’s archrivals was always top-drawer stuff
ICC president Zaheer Abbas
 ICC president Zaheer Abbas
HyderabadAmidst the deadlock arising out of cricket’s cold war currently on in the sub-continent, ICC president Zaheer Abbas hopes India and Pakistan resume their bilateral series and ease the escalating tension between the two countries.
 
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, the former Pakistan captain said a series between Asia’s archrivals was always top-drawer stuff. “An India-Pakistan series is as popular as the Ashes. The whole world wants the two teams to face each other. I hope in due time they will start playing again,” he said.
 
“It’s not just that Pakistan wants to play India but India also wants to play with Pakistan (I hope). If they do, then this is the right time to start. Dave (ICC CEO Richardson) has said that everybody is keen on resumption of the series. I would love it if that happens as soon as possible,” the 68-year-old said.
 
When pointed out that the top two in the ICC are from India and Pakistan — chairman N. Srinivasan and president Abbas respectively — and that they have everything to play for, Abbas said: “I was in Lahore and visited the Pakistan Cricket Board. I will definitely convey the message to the top people (governing cricket) in India.”
 
Abbas looked to next year’s T20 World Cup to break the ice. “I hope Pakistan’s first match will be against ‘Hindustan’ in India,” he quipped. Drifting from the Indo-Pak series, Abbas spoke on varied subjects. He found nothing wrong with Virat Kohli’s on-field aggression. “Why not? Kohli is doing very well and he is your main batsman,” he said, before adding, “the most important thing is beat a side, not by talking though.”
 
Speaking about bouncers in modern-day cricket, Abbas felt they were an essential part of a paceman’s armoury. “For the fast bowlers, bouncer is one of the main weapons. He wants to see the batsman walking back to the pavilion as early as possible,” he said.
 
Comparing the situation to his playing days, Abbas said: “During our days, there were no helmets. We played in difficult conditions and the wickets were very fast, now the wickets have become slower. Also, the batsman is better equipped with helmets and other protection gear. I can’t say it is much easier but at least there is protection.”
 
Abbas felt player safety was top priority. “If somebody gets injured, obviously it is not good for cricket. Raman Lamba got injured on the field and died. It is one of those things that frightened all of us,” he said.
 
Speaking about changing techniques, the ICC chief said “Twenty20 cricket is a different ball game altogether but Sachin (Tendulkar) never played any funny strokes, even in the shortest format.”
 
He extended his praise for the Little Master. “When we talk about best batsman or bowler, it is all about different eras. If you talk about Sunil Gavaskar, he was the best in his era. Sachin too has dominated bowlers for 20 years and is certainly on top,” Abbas  said.
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