London, June 17: Former captain Shahid Afridi today (June 17) requested the Indian government to "soften their stance" and resume bilateral cricket series with Pakistan.
As India and Pakistan gear up for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final tomorrow (June 18) in London, Afridi felt bilateral matches needed to be restarted which, according to him, will help in "reducing tensions".
The Indian government has said it will not allow bilateral cricket matches between the neighbours till Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism.
"I would also want the cricketing world and the ICC to keep a close eye on the significance of an Indo-Pak cricket match of this magnitude and what it means to the fans of the game all around," Afridi wrote in a column on the ICC's website on Saturday.
"I really hope that we see resumption of bilateral cricket between the two countries and would request the Indian cricket board and the Indian government to soften their stance.
"Having captained Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final at Mohali, I know the importance of the game and how it brings the two nations to a standstill while underlining the message of peace and tolerance for each other.
"Cricket can be an actual source of bringing the two nations together and reducing the tensions. I, like the rest of the world, can't wait for the match to start. Let us hope that we see a game of epic proportions that is remembered for a long, long time," he added.
There has been no bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan since 2012-13 season.