Kapil Dev on Thursday shot down Shoaib Akhtar’s suggestion to have an India-Pakistan cricket series to raise funds which can help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Akhtar had said that the two teams could play a three-match ODI series and the money raised could be shared equally.
“If Virat scores a hundred, we will be happy, if Babar Azam scores a hundred, you will be happy. Both teams will be winners irrespective of whatever happens on the field,” the former Pakistani fast bowler said.
“You are bound to get massive viewership for the games. For the first time, both countries will play for each other. And whatever funds are generated through this can be donated equally to the government of India and Pakistan to fight this pandemic,” added the 44-year-old.
Reacting to this, Kapil Dev said that there was no need for such an arrangement as it would endanger everyone involved.
“India does not need money today so such a series should not be held. And why put our cricketers’ life in danger? So sit back and relax at home,” Kapil Dev said.
“Why take the risk of endangering even one life? There’s no need for anyone to give such suggestions. The authorities are trying their best to make people understand the importance of staying home. It’s easy to say things but organising such an event is extremely difficult.”
“Anyway, the BCCI has donated ₹51 crore for the cause and is in a position to donate much more if the need arises. It doesn’t need to raise funds. The situation is unlikely to get normal anytime soon and organising a cricket game means putting our cricketers at risk which we don’t need to,” said the World Cup-winning former captain.
India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral cricket series since 2012 due to diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Pakistan last visited India for ODIs and T20Is in 2012-’13 while the two sides last played a Test match in 2007.
The men in blue visited Pakistan in 2006 and have not toured there since. The two sides now only play each other at International Cricket Council events like the World Cup and the continental tournament Asia Cup.
As an Indian, Kapil Dev feels proud that India is in a position to help other nations, including the United States, fight this crisis.