Former Pakistan cricketer and politician Imran Khan said he is looking forward to the Indo-Pak cricket series starting in December. He feels that cricket has the power to cement bilateral ties between the two countries but can be hindered by wrong moves from the political circle.
"When the atmosphere between politicians and government is positive, when you try and get close, then crickets act like cement to the relationship," Khan said recalling the days when he had played during peacetime as well as "when two forces were on the border facing each other", Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Khan opined that the cricket field can turn into a battle field if there is animosity and "wrong" voices from politicians. He also said that cricketing ties help in furthering people-to-people contacts. Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was against Pakistan playing in India and had asked his party members to disrupt forthcoming Indo-Pak matches anywhere in India.
The government has taken necessary steps to prevent any interference with the matches. "When cricketers from other countries come to India, not only Pakistan, it is our duty to protect them. We will discuss and provide best possible security. We are going to be very alert," said Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, according to PTI.
The series, which will end in Jaunuary, would include three ODI's and two Twenty-20 matches. The venues for ODI's will be Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. Bangalore and Ahmedabad will host Twenty-20 matches. The two nations concerned have not played since Pakistan's tour of India in 2007.