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Dubai Cricket Council Chairman Open to Hosting India vs Pakistan Bilateral Series

The chairman of Dubai Cricket Council Abdul Rahman Falaknaz says he will be open to hosting India and Pakistan for bilateral cricket series in the future. The bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan have been suspended due to the diplomatic tensions between the two neighbours and the two teams only play against each other in global or continental events.

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“The best thing would be to get India-Pakistan matches here (Dubai),” Falaknaz was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times. When Sharjah used to host India and Pakistan all those years ago, it was like a war. But it was a good war, it was a sporting war and it was fantastic.”

Recalling the time when late Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor, during an awards night in Dubai, expressed his happiness at Sharjah hosting India and Pakistan for cricket matches, Falaknaz hopes cricket will  help in bringing the two countries closer.

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“I remember Raj Kapoor came once with his family. During the awards night, he took the mic and said, ‘how wonderful it is to have these India-Pakistan battles in Sharjah. Cricket brings people together, cricket has brought us together and let us remain this way’,” he said,

“So this is what we would like to do. If we can convince India to come and play here against Pakistan once a year or twice a year, it would be fantastic,” he added.

He also invited BCCI to regularly organise IPL matches in Dubai saying that UAE has already successfully hosted the league in the past (twice partially and one full season in 2020).

The BCCI also organised the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup across three venues in UAE after deeming it risky to host the event in India due to the potential of a third coronavirus wave hitting the country.

“It all depends on BCCI to decide what they want to do. We are very friendly with them. They have seen our potential. I would invite them to come and hold their IPL, start here and finish in India or start in India and finish in Dubai,” he said.

“And they have been looked after so well that they are very happy with us. I think we can still help and do what we can for cricket, as much as our friends want us to do, we will do it,” he added.

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