COVID-19: Shoaib Akhtar proposes Indo-Pak series to raise funds
LAHORE: Pakistan’s legendary former pacer Shoaib Akhtar proposed a three-match Indo-Pak series to raise funds to help the governments of India and Pakistan fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has brought the entire globe to a standstill.
The 44-year-old believed that the fixture would be successful in generating a significant amount of money, which would help both countries.
"In this time of crisis, I want to propose a three-match series in which for the first time, the people of neither country would be upset at the outcome of the games," Akhtar told Press Trust of India. "If Virat (Kohli) scores a hundred, we will be happy, if Babar Azam scores a hundred, you will be happy. Both teams will be winners irrespective of whatever happens on the field. You are bound to get massive viewership for the games. For the first time, both countries will play for each other. And whatever funds are generated through this can be donated equally to the government of India and Pakistan to fight this pandemic."
The Rawalpindi Express believed that both countries should help each other in these times of crisis.
"Everyone is sitting at home at the moment, so there will be a massive following for the games. Maybe not now, when things start improving, the games could be organised at a neutral location like Dubai. Chartered flights could be arranged and the matches could be held. It could even lead to resumption of bilateral cricketing ties and relations of both countries improve diplomatically. You never know. The whole world will tune into it, so much money can be raised to deal with this crisis. In difficult times, the character of the nation comes forward. If India can make 10,000 ventilators for us, Pakistan will remember this gesture forever. But we can only propose the matches. The rest is up to the authorities (to decide)," he said.
Akhtar also talked about the backlash received by former Indian cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh for asking people to donate to Shahid Afridi’s charity foundation which is striving to fight the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.
"It was inhuman to criticise them. It is not about countries … at the moment, it is about humanity," he concluded. - PTI