Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi urged India to tour his country for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 as he wants the relationship between the two countries to get better.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has refused to send the men's team to Pakistan for the ODI tournament in September due to security reasons and the strained relations between the two nations which have been at war with each other since 1947.
But India's refusal means that the Asian Cricket Council will now have to look for an alternate venue to host the tournament.
The United Arab Emirates is once again the frontrunner to play host for the second third in succession. Notably, the Asia Cup has been played in the UAE four times in total.
"It would have been really nice if India had come. It would have been a step towards Cricket and Pakistan for India.
"This is not the generation of wars and fights. We want relationships to get better," Afridi told the media on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) in Doha.
India last toured Pakistan in 2008 for the Asia Cup while the Men in Blue played the last bilateral series in the country in 2006. The two countries played their last bilateral series in 2012 when Pakistan toured India for three ODIs and as many T20Is.
'I still have friends in Indian team'
"What can we do if we want to befriend someone and he does not talk to us? There is no doubt that the BCCI is a very strong board, but when you are strong, you have more responsibility.
"You don't try to make more enemies, you need to make friends. When you make more friends, you become stronger. I still have friends in the Indian team when we meet, we discuss, the other day I met Raina and I asked for a bat, he gave me a bat," Afridi added.
The all-rounder, who led Asian Legends to title victory in the Legends League Cricket on Monday, also addressed the issue of security in Pakistan saying that international teams have toured his country in the recent past without any incidents.
"As far as the security concern in Pakistan is concerned, we had many international teams traveling here recently. We used to face security threats from India as well, but if permission is received from the government of both countries then the tour will happen," Afridi said.
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