The onus is now on Pakistan Board, says Azhar Mahmood

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 15.05.12

New Delhi: Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood Monday welcomed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to invite a team from across the border for the Champions League T20 and said that it’s now time for the Pakistan Cricket Board to take a positive step to help resume bilateral cricket ties between the two countries.

The BCCI, during its working committee meeting last week, cleared the decks for the inclusion of Pakistan’s domestic T20 champions, Sialkot Stallions, in this year’s CLT20 for the first time since the event’s inception.

“Sialkot will play here in CLT20 in October… It is a very good step from India (BCCI). Now Pakistan (PCB), too, need to take a step forward and join hands with India,” Mahmood said during a promotional here, on Monday.

“Both the countries should join hands and put in a combined effort to revive bilateral series,” added Mahmood, now a British passport holder and representing the Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing IPL-V.

Since joining the Kings XI, Mahmood has played a key role in turning the fortunes of the outfit, who are currently in the seventh spot in the standings with 14 points from 13 games, but are very much in with a chance of advancing to the playoffs.

“Definitely, we can go to semi-finals… We are playing good cricket. We have 14 points now and two more wins will see us through to the playoffs,” he said.

A tough battle awaits the Kings XI in their next match, on Tuesday, as they take on table-toppers Delhi DareDevils at the Kotla. But Mahmood said his side have enough firepower in its armoury to upstage the DareDevils in their own backyard.

“No doubt (Virender) Sehwag and (David) Warner are two of the best players in ODIs and Twenty20 cricket... But if they are in form, we also are in form,” he said.

Kings XI leg-spinner Piyush Chawla also agreed with his senior teammate and said that they were confident of staging an upset on Tuesday.

“The way we are playing, we have a good chance… We have the momentum with us,” said Chawla, who is currently the fourth highest wicket-taker in IPL-V with 15 scalps.        (PTI)