Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram on Friday lashed out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not using its power to force India to participate in the bilateral series against Pakistan.
Wasim, while speaking at the Sharjah International Book Fair, said Pakistan-India series attracts way more audiences than the Ashes — the marquee five-Test clash between England And Australia.
“I don’t think ICC has the guts to pursue BCCI,” said Akram as quoted by Gulf Today. “I have always said sports should be kept away from politics. The interest, passion and pressure of a match played between the two south Asian rivals are unparalleled. Such kind of pressure is not felt even during the Ashes.”
“How many people watch the Ashes?” he asked. “Two million or three million at the most, while a Pakistan-India game is watched by 1.3 billion people.”
Former left-arm pacer, famously known for being one part of the duo ‘Sultans of Swing’, rued the lack of entertainment for young cricket fans of both countries.
“I have grown up with Pakistani cricket,” he reminisced. “And it is very sad for the young generation of both the countries to have been deprived of such an entertainment.”
Pakistan are currently pursuing a case against India in the ICC’s dispute resolution committee, demanding damages for latter’s refusal to honour the MoU signed with former to play bilateral series.
‘T10 will capture its own market’
Akram will be providing his services for one of the T10 league franchises, Maratha Arabians, which will be held in December this year, and he believes, like T20, T10 cricket will also find its place in the cricketing calendar.
“Cricket is evolving and new formats are evolving,” he explained. “When T20 was introduced, people criticised it; today, it has become popular. I think T10 is similarly going to provide entertainment.”