After the successful completion of several cricket tournaments in the UAE including the second half of PSL 2021, the second half of IPL 2021 and later the T20 World Cup, the Dubai Cricket Council has now come on the front foot and offered to host the bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan.
The Chairman of the Dubai Cricket Council Abdul Rahman Falaknaz did not shy away from offering to host more IPL games in the future. He added that the country could in fact be the perfect neutral venue for India and Pakistan who might agree on playing at a neutral venue rather than on each other's soils due to the tensed political relationship between the two nations.
If we can convince India to come and play here against Pakistan, it would be fantastic: Falaknaz
"The best thing would be to get India-Pakistan matches here. When Sharjah used to host India and Pakistan all those years ago, it was like a war. But it was a good war, it was a sporting war and it was fantastic," said Falaknaz, as quoted in Khaleej Times.
"I remember [Bollywood actor] Raj Kapoor came once with his family. During the awards night, he took the mic and said, ‘How wonderful it is to have these India-Pakistan battles in Sharjah. Cricket brings people together, cricket has brought us together and let us remain this way,'" he added.
"So this is what we would like to do. If we can convince India to come and play here against Pakistan once a year or twice a year, it would be fantastic," he further said.
Notably, India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral cricket series since 2013 due to tense political relations between the neighbouring countries. Ever since then, they have met in ICC events and their last encounter happened at the T20 World Cup 2021 where India were outplayed by the Men in Green in Dubai as the Babar Azam-led side triumphed by 10 wickets.
The T20 World Cup was originally supposed to happen in India but was shifted to the UAE due to the uncertain situation related to the Coronavirus pandemic. India will now host the 2023 ODI World Cup.