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Bilateral series can help reduce Indo-Pak tensions: Waqar

Amid a cloud of uncertainty over resumption of Indo-Pak cricketing ties, Pakistan’s coach Waqar Younis has said he is optimistic about a bilateral series in December and firmly believes regular cricket can help reduce tensions between the two countries.

“I remain optimistic that this series will take place because I firmly believe that playing regular bilateral series can help reduce the tensions in the relations between the two countries,” Waqar said.

The former fast bowler said it was unfortunate for both teams that they had not played a Test match against each other since 2007.

“More than anything the fact that we have not played a test in the last eight years is really disappointing,” he said.

“The present situation between both countries means the coming series is in danger but I remain hopeful that eventually the series will happen in December,” he said.

“If the series doesn’t take place it would be most unfortunate for cricket on a whole because everyone wants to watch an Indo-Pak match.

“But I think this is the best chance now for both countries to resume bilateral cricket matches,” he added.

Waqar also announced his availability to coach in the planned Pakistan Super League in Doha in February insisting that the cricket board must give maximum exposure to under-19 and under-23 players in the league.

“Definitely the board should try to bring in the big names in world cricket from overseas but at same time PSL is a great opportunity to give exposure to our young players in a big arena,” Waqar said.

“Such leagues have been held in other countries and they have benefitted from these events.

“We have seen how the Indian premier league has given India so much new talent so it is not just about players becoming financially strong but also about new players getting the required exposure at top level,” he said.

The Pakistan coach returned to Lahore this week after spending time with his family in Sydney.

On the issue of considering off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for the coming international assignments, Waqar said that the senior bowler was passing through the most difficult phase of his career.

“It has been difficult for him after remodelling his bowling action and I think it will take some more time before he is effective again with his new action,” Waqar said.