Disgraced Butt hails Indo-Pak cricket ties revival
Lahore: He would not be a part of it but Pakistan`s disgraced former captain Salman Butt is delighted that bilateral cricket ties with India would be revived with the limited-overs series in December.
Butt, who is serving a five-year ICC ban for spot-fixing and returned home recently after serving a jail sentence in the United Kingdom, said he was happy to hear that India have invited Pakistan for a one-day and Twenty20 series in December.
"It is indeed good news but given that we are playing a bilateral series after five years efforts should have been made to also have a Test in the series because the significance of a Test match is very different from one-dayers or T20 matches," Butt said.
The former Test opener said it was now up to the Pakistan Cricket Board to play their cards right and get a commitment from India to send the team here sometime next year.
"Definitely a bilateral series is only possible because the governments support this concept now. But the PCB after sending its team to India should now try to get a commitment from the Indian board for a return tour next year," Butt said.
"We have been deprived of international cricket at home for the last three years and I don`t blame the PCB for this. Because it is the government`s duty to guarantee security of touring teams and without their assurance no team will come to Pakistan including India," he added.
Meanwhile, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has also hailed the revival of the bilateral ties insisting that Indo-Pak rivalry in cricket was good for the sport.
"As a former player and politician I say any steps taken by both governments that can encourage more dialogues between both countries and increase people to people level contact is good for Indo-Pak relations," Imran said.
India have also invited Pakistan`s domestic Twenty20 champions Sialkot Stallions for the Champions League to be held in South Africa this year.
Imran said he had always said Indo-Pak cricket was good for the sport as it is one of the greatest rivalries.
"When Pakistan and India play against each other it is good for the sport as millions follow the matches across the world and this is good advertisement for cricket," he said.
"I always enjoyed the matches against India and this special tension as it brought out the best in the players of both sides. The team that keeps it nerves always wins in such contests," he said.