New Delhi: The announcement of revival of sub-continental cricketing ties has received a huge thumbs up from former Pakistani players.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Monday that Pakistan will play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals in December-January. The two countries last played in a bilateral series in 2007-8.
Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas said watching the series will help his countrymen forget about other problems existing in the country.
"Both the countries should be playing every year or so. The news that they would be playing now in December has made me very happy. People in Pakistan are very happy. The best way to forget all our problems is to play and watch sports. They are all eagerly waiting for the contest," said Abbas.
"India have become a great cricketing power while Pakistan at the moment are not playing at home. Our team is not as strong as it used to be, but India brings out the best out of us," he added.
Former captain Aamer Sohail found it hard to hide his excitement.
"I am very excited about it. It is great news that the ice between the two boards has melted. The emotions run high for the players in an Indo-Pak game. The 2011 World Cup semi-final was a one-off game. Now, the players will be geared up for the challenge."
Pakistan's former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Ehsan Mani said India-Pakistan contests could only be good for the game.
"Any cricket between India-Pakistan can only be good for the game. Very unfortunate there was no cricket all this while. I am glad things are back on track and they would only get better from here on. Cricket is important in bridging barriers," said Mani.