‘Ganguly invited me to IPL but I thought if I went there, fans will not spare me’ | Cricket

The bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan is currently at a halt due to tense diplomatic relations between both countries. The last time both sides met in a bilateral series was in the 2012/13 season when Pakistan had toured India for two T20Is and three ODIs in December / January. Since then, cricket matches between both teams are confined to continental (Asia Cup) and global (ICC) tournaments.

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The last time India and Pakistan had met on a cricket field was during the 2021 T20 World Cup, where the Babar Azam-led side secured a 10-wicket win over the Men in Blue. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja had further made an attempt to introduce a four-nation series involving India (the other two being England and Australia), but the idea was rejected by the ICC board.

During a press conference on Friday, Raja revealed that he was also invited by Sourav Ganguly to the Indian Premier League on two separate occasions; however, he did not go due to potential anger from fans.

“See, I’ve had conversations with Sourav Ganguly on the sidelines. I keep telling him, there are 2-3 cricketers who are currently the board presidents or chairman. If we can not bring a difference, what’s the point?

“He also has his own concerns, unfortunately. On two different occasions, he invited me to IPL; once in Dubai and once this year. I was confused about whether or not to attend. I thought if I went there, fans will not spare me. There might be a cricketing sense to it (attending the IPL), yes, but right now, there are some cracks that need to be filled because it’s a political game, ”said Raja.

The PCB chairman, however, was positive about the future as he referred to Pakistan sealing the hosting rights for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

“If it were a cricket game, this would have been solved in two minutes. See, we secured the hosting rights for 2025 Champions Trophy, which means we have tried to break that influence and people have started recognizing that Pakistan’s team and fans deserve such world-class events, ”said Raja.


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