New Delhi: While the political tension between India and Pakistan have deprived cricket fans of some quality action on the cricket field over the year, legendary Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi is hopeful that the two neighbours will be able to resume the cricketing ties soon.
Afridi, widely regarded as one of the most dangerous batsmen to have played the game, said that the Indo-Pak cricketers get along extremely well contrary to popular belief, barring Gautam Gambhir - who has been involved with some memorable incidents against Pakistan on field.
"Contrary to popular belief, India and Pakistan players get along very well. Of course, there are exceptions like Gautam Gambhir, who dare I say isn’t the friendliest. We are unlikely to be found together at a coffee shop anytime soon. We had a heated exchange on the field some years ago and it made headlines all over the world. While I have moved on in life as I feel these things are part and parcel of the game, Gautam for some reason can’t get over it. Good luck to him!" Afridi wrote in a column for ICC's official website.
Fondly called Lala, Afridi added that he missed the atmosphere of India-Pakistan matches and was hopeful that the mother of all rivalries will resume once the political scenario between the two country improves.
"Unfortunately, we don’t meet each other that often now due to the prevailing relations between the two countries. But I miss the good times with my Indian cricket friends and I am sure they feel likewise. Hopefully, the situation will improve soon so that the old friends can reunite to relive old memories," he added.
While India's participation in upcoming ICC Champions Trophy hangs in balance, Afridi said he is looking forward to the much-awaited contest between India and Pakistan.
"On the upcoming match in Edgbaston, I really hope that we see a classic Indo-Pak match. India has the strength as well as the psychological advantage based on its recent performances against us. India is a batting powerhouse brimming with talent, which is well supported by an aggressive and attacking bowling line-up," he added.
As a result of an ongoing feud of revenue sharing model with the world body, the Board of Cricket for Control on India (BCCI) has yet not announced Indian cricket team's squad for the prestigious event.
Men in Blue are scheduled to play their opening match against Pakistan on June 4 in Edgbaston.