Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has batted for revival of Indo-Pak cricket ties despite the unfortunate incident today when Shiv Sena activists stormed the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
"I am pretty certain eventually cricket will be the winner. Sooner or later India and Pakistan will get down to playing cricket again despite the current bleak scenario," Ramiz told Geo News.
Asked about the incident and threats to Pakistan's Aleem Dar on the ICC Elite umpires panel, Ramiz said what happened was unfortunate.
"But they have always been highs and lows in Indo-Pak relations but I have never been made to feel unwelcome anywhere in India. Similarly if Aleem is is in India obviously the ICC must have thought about it and sent him there for the India and South Africa series. I don't see any threat to him," he said.
Ramiz said that the Pakistan cricket officials were doing the right thing by emphasising that cricket and politics must be kept apart.
"It is good they have again taken the initiative to convince India to play the series in December. Such efforts has to continue to eventually break the ice. Cricket has always brought a thaw in relations and improved it from my experience," the former opening batsman said.
He said he would not read much into the actions of a group of people but the fact is that cricket has always proved helpful to improve relations.
Ramiz also pointed out that if playing India was important to Pakistan cricket so was it for India. "Indo-Pak series is overall important for cricket itself and the financial benefits of such matches is immense for all stakeholders."
Former skipper Muhammad Yousuf termed the incident as another setback to revival of bi-lateral series between the two nations.
"Already there is so much going on and this incident will only put back chances of the series being held in December. It is very unfortunate but I think vast majority of even Indian people want the series to go ahead as planned," Yousuf told PTI.
The stylish batsmen said in the past whenever Pakistan had toured India they had always been threats and pressures from some extremist groups.
"But eventually while security was high for us we were welcomed everywhere in India and enjoyed playing cricket there," he said.