Reports: India, Pakistan players to play together as Afro-Asia Cup slated to return

India
Virat Kohli and Babar Azam (Image Credits: Twitter)

The cricket fans soon could be in for a treat as they could witness India and Pakistan players playing together for the same team. Have you ever imagined watching Virat Kohli and Babar Azam, two modern-day legends, batting together? Or how would it feel when Shaheen Afridi and Jasprit Bumrah charge with the bowl at the opposition? Isn’t it a mouth-watering prospect?

Well, the dream could soon come true for Asian cricket fans as the reports suggest that Afro-Asia Cup 2023 might take place. The last time tournament was held in 2007 and the legendary Indian skipper MS Dhoni, alongside Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag was a part of it. Notably, Asia XI defeated Africa XI 3-0 in the three-match ODI series.

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India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2012-13 and there are no immediate hopes of resumption of the cricketing action between the two nations courtesy of the political tensions. Since then, both teams have only faced each other during the ICC events.

In the Afro-Asia Cup, one side will feature all top players from the Asian continent, while the other team will feature the top players from the African continent.

We are trying to bring together the best players from India and Pakistan in the Afro-Asia Cup: ACC Head

Prabhakaran Thanraj, ACC head of commercial and events, had said that they are currently working on the white paper at the moment with a desire to bring India and Pakistan players together. He also added that sponsorship and broadcasting details will come along once the tournament gets a green signal from the respective boards.

“We haven’t got confirmation from the boards yet. We are still working on the white paper and it will be submitted to both boards. But our plan is for the best players from India and Pakistan to be playing in the Asian XI. Once plans are finalized we will go into the market for sponsorship and a broadcaster. It will be a massive event. Really, really big,” Thanraj told Forbes about the Afro-Asia Cup.

Sumod Damodar, chairman of the African Cricket Association, also talked about the tournament and said it will be a treat for fans to watch India and Pakistan players playing together.

“I would love to see the opportunity to build the bridge and allow the players to play together. I’m sure the players want it to happen and to keep the politics away from it. It would be a beautiful thing to see players from Pakistan and India playing on the same team,” said Damodar.

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