ECB’s offer to host Ind vs Pak contest is a fantastic idea, faceoff is biggest in white-ball cricket: Monty Panesar

Hosting India versus Pakistan, a bilateral contest, is a fantastic idea. A large section of society in Manchester, Birmingham, and London would love to see the clash between arch-rivals, believes former England offspinner Monty Panesar. The England and Wales Cricket Board has offered to host men’s Test cricket between Pakistan and India in an attempt to end the long deadlock between both the neighbouring states.

Pakistan and India have not participated in men’s cricket against one another – outside of multi-team events in any format since January 2013. Their last Test match was played in December 2007. In a candid conversation with The Quotes, the 40-year-old claimed that India vs Pakistan is a crowd puller, and the atmosphere goes into a frenzy when both teams stand against each other. “Ind vs Pak contest can fill stadiums of any capacity. I remember the 2019 World Cup, the stadium at Manchester stadium was filled when Ind vs Pak contest was underway. People love to see both nations battling against each other,” Monty Panesar said.

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In comparison with The Ashes, former England cricketer said that England vs Australia bilateral contest is the biggest clash in Test cricket, but India vs Pakistan clash has no beating in white-ball cricket. “It’s the biggest and most attractive clash in white-ball cricket. Both teams are highly qualified and possess the capacity to outsmart each other on any given day. India used to dominate Pakistan in the past, but Pakistan has emerged as a strong force recently,” added Monty. Earlier, Moeen Ali, England’s captain for the Pakistan tour, ‘loved’ the idea of hosting an India vs Pakistan contest on English soil.

“That would be brilliant. It’s a shame that they don’t play each other unless it’s World Cup or an ICC event, but they are two great teams and two massive playing nations,” said Ali on the side-lines of the England vs Pak clash.

Marton Darlow, the ECB’s deputy chair, has been in Pakistan for the ongoing T20I series between England and Pakistan and has floated the idea to PCB chair Ramiz Raja during his visit. ESPNcricinfo has reported that PCB is unlikely to take up the offer. However, it has made significant progress in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan after staging “home” games in the UAE for several years, and playing at a neutral venue would risk undermining some of that.

The PCB has previously hosted two Tests in England, drawing a two-match series against Australia in 2010 with games at Lord’s and Headingley. But relationships between the boards deteriorated after Pakistan’s series against England was marred by the spot-fixing scandal later in the year.

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