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Miandad appeals to Indians

Sharjah: Making an impassioned plea for revival of Indo-Pak cricket ties, former Pakistan batsman and coach Javed Miandad has said he favours “throwing out Indian politicians” who are denying fans the chance to enjoy matches between the two traditional rivals.

Miandad, who began his third stint as Pakistan coach after the World Cup, attacked the Indian government’s policy of severing bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan, saying it was an “anti-people” policy, which ignored the wishes of masses.

He said the common people must raise their voice against such a policy and advocated holding a referendum to decide whether the two countries should start playing again.

“Politicians claim to work on behalf of the people. But actually they serve their own interests. The people in India now must raise their concern against this anti-people policy.

“They should throw away the politicians who are preventing the revival of cricket ties between the two countries,” Miandad said.

“Let the Indian government hold a referendum on the issue and then it will realise how strong the support is for reviving cricket ties between the two countries,” he said.

India have refused to play against Pakistan in bilateral series for more than three years now accusing Islamabad of supporting cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. But the two countries did play each other in the World Cup where India comprehensively beat Pakistan.

Miandad said freezing cricket relations was a mistake as the game had the potential to reduce the tensions between the two countries. “When we went to India in 1998, there was such a massive support for us. We got a standing ovation in the Chennai Test. We got a huge welcome everywhere we went. In fact, that tour has been one of the most memorable experiences of my entire cricketing career,” Miandad said.

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