World Cricket Loses Nothing if India, Pakistan Don't Play a Bilateral Series: Sunil Gavaskar
India and Pakistan have played in ICC events like the World Cups in recent times. Sunil Gavaskar feels a series between the arch-rivals will not be as exciting as it used to be before.
The proposed India versus Pakistan bilateral series in Sri Lanka this month continues to be uncertain and Sunil Gavaskar feels the world cricket will lose nothing if the neighbours don't play against each other. (Government Unlikely to OK Series vs Pakistan in Sri Lanka)
A cricket series between India and Pakistan used to be the mother of all battles, but not anymore, Gavaskar told NDTV in an exclusive chat on Friday.
"They (India and Pakistan) - unlike the Ashes -- haven't played bilateral series since 2012 and before that also the contest between the two was pretty sporadic. So, I don't think this has affected world cricket at all," he said.
Even if they did, Gavaskar feels the quality of cricket may not be top class.
"No disrespect to the players of the both the teams but the excitement level will not be very high. When Sourav Ganguly's team toured Pakistan in 2004-05 and Inzamam-ul-Haq's team came to India in 2007-08, the excitement levels were way high because of the quality of the players in both sides," Gavaskar said.
Ganguly's men had won both the Test (2-1) and ODI (3-2) series during their 2004-05 tour of Pakistan. Under Anil Kumble's captaincy in 2007-08, India won the three-match Test series 1-0 and emerged 3-2 winners in the ODIs under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership.
"Once again, with absolutely no disrespect to the current teams, I am not too sure if the clash between the two teams would be that exciting as those two series," Gavaskar said.
'Must respect government decision'
Gavaskar said the Board of Control for Cricket in India must respect the government's decision on the proposed series against Pakistan. Last month, the BCCI had jumped the gun and announced a series in Sri Lanka from December 15 without taking government's nod.
This is Pakistan's turn to play host and their cricket Board has already received government nod to play India in a five-match limited overs series in Sri Lanka.
In recent months, India and Pakistan have differed over the venue of the series. While Pakistan were adamant that India should play at their adopted 'home', United Arab Emirates, BCCI wanted Pakistan to visit India.
As per a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2014, India and Pakistan are scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, with four series to be hosted by Pakistan.