Mahmood welcomes BCCI decision to invite Pak team in CLT20
New Delhi: Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood on Monday welcomed the BCCI`s decision to invite a team from across the border for the Champions League Twenty20 and said it`s now time for the PCB to take positive step to help resume bilateral cricket ties between the two countries.
The BCCI, during its working committee meeting last week, cleared the decks for the inclusion of Pakistan`s domestic T20 champions Sialkot Stallions in this year`s CLT20 for the first time since the event`s inception.
"Sialkot will play here in CLT20 in October. It is a very good step from India (BCCI). Now Pakistan (PCB) too need to take a step forward and join hands with India," Mahmood said during an event here.
"Both the countries should join hands and put in a combined effort to revive bilateral series," added Mahmood, now a British passport holder and representing Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Since joining Kings XI in the middle of the tournament, Mahmood has played a key role in turning the fortunes of the Punjab outfit, who are currently in the seventh spot in the standings with 14 points from 13 games but are very much in with a chance of advancing to the play-offs.
"Definitely we can go to semifinals. We are playing good cricket. We have 14 points now and two more wins will see us through to the play-offs," he said.
A tough battle awaits Kings XI Punjab in their next match as they take on table toppers Delhi Daredevils at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground here tomorrow. But Mahmood said his side have enough arsenal in its armoury to upstage Delhi in their own backyard.
"No doubt (Virender) Sehwag and (David) Warner are two of the best players in ODIs and Twenty20 cricket. But if they are in form, we also are in form," he said.
Kings XI Punjab leg-spinner Piyush Chawla also agreed with his senior team-mate Mahmood and said the visitors were confident of staging an upset on Tuesday.
"The way we are playing we have a good chance (against Delhi). We have the momentum going with us," said Chawla, who is currently the fourth highest wicket-taker in IPL V with 15 scalps.
Chawla also had words of appreciation for Mahmood.
"Azhar bhai`s presence has made a big difference. He has got experience behind his back and he is constantly sharing his experiences with us," he said.