Advertisement
Monday, Oct 25, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Fishing In Troubled Waters? Shoaib Akhtar Comes Up With Unrealistic Move Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

The arch-rivals have not played a full series since 2007 due to the terrorist attacks on India by Pakistan-based outfits and the resultant diplomatic tension

Fishing In Troubled Waters? Shoaib Akhtar Comes Up With Unrealistic Move Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
Shoaib Akhtar | File Photo
Fishing In Troubled Waters? Shoaib Akhtar Comes Up With Unrealistic Move Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
outlookindia.com
2020-04-08T23:12:28+05:30

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday proposed a three-match ODI series against arch-rivals India to raise funds for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in both the countries.

Coronavirus Outbreak Coverage | Cricket News

The two nations have not played a full-series since 2007 due to the terrorist attacks on India by Pakistan-based outfits and the resultant diplomatic tension. They only play each other in ICC events and Asia Cup.

"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 PTI from Islamabad.

"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," he said.

"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," added the 44-year-old.

With both countries in lockdown amid the fast-spreading pandemic, the games can only be organised when things improve. However, Akhtar feels the sooner they are held, the better it would be but could not tell how the logistics of such an initiative would be worked out.

"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 the resumption of bilateral cricketing ties and relations of both countries improve diplomatically. You never know," said the 'Rawalpindi Express'.

"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."

In these extraordinary times, Akhtar feels both countries should help each other.

"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)."

India cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were recently trolled for asking their social media followers to donate to Shahid Afridi's charity foundation which is doing its bit in Pakistan's fight against the deadly virus.

"It was inhuman to criticise them. It is not about countries or religion at the moment, it is about humanity," he opined.

Akhtar has spent a lot of time in India as a commentator. He fondly recalled his days in Mumbai during the World T20 in 2016, the last time he came to India for work.

"I am forever grateful about the love I have received from the people of India. For the first time I am revealing this, whatever I used to earn from India, I made a significant amount there, thirty percent of it, I used to distribute among the low-income staff who used to work with me in the TV," he remembered.

Akhtar used to visit the city's slum areas with his face covered to hand out financial help to elder women there.

"From drivers, runners to my security guys. I took care of a lot of people. I was like if am earning from this country, I have to help my colleagues also.

"I also remember visiting slums of Dharavi and Sion in the wee hours to meet people I worked with," added Akhtar.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani': Shah Rukh Khan As The Symbol Of Indianness

'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani': Shah Rukh Khan As The Symbol Of Indianness

SRK’s persona evokes the kind of Indianness that denies categorisation into singular, exclusive identities. And thrives on making others feel welcome.

Aryan Khan Case: Witness Alleges NCB Asked For Rs 18 Crore Bribe From Shah Rukh Khan

Aryan Khan Case: Witness Alleges NCB Asked For Rs 18 Crore Bribe From Shah Rukh Khan

Aryan Khan, who is currently lodged in Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, was arrested on October 2 on a cruise in connection to the possession of illegal drugs.

T20 World Cup: Pakistan Break Jinx Vs India In Style

T20 World Cup: Pakistan Break Jinx Vs India In Style

Babar Azam (68) and Mohammad Rizwan (79) made light of a 152-run target to help Pakistan break a World Cup jinx against India.

Love, Longing And Shah Rukh: Growing Up With DDLJ In The Time Of Mandal And Kamandal

Love, Longing And Shah Rukh: Growing Up With DDLJ In The Time Of Mandal And Kamandal

Shah Rukh Khan called himself a peddler of love. That’s better than the pitches selling religion. Love is all we need now.

Advertisement