Dubai offers to host India-Pakistan matches

If we can convince India to come and play here against Pakistan once a year or twice a year, it would be fantastic, said Chairman of Dubai Cricket Council

Dubai offers to host India-Pakistan matches PHOTO: AFP

After successfully hosting the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and then the ICC T20 World Cup, Dubai Cricket Council has expressed its desire to host the India-Pakistan bilateral series.

Chairman of the Dubai Cricket Council, Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, spoke to local media in UAE and claimed that Dubai can be the perfect neutral venue for the arch-rivals.

"The best thing would be to get India-Pakistan matches here. 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," said Falaknaz, as quoted in Khaleej Times.

"I remember [Bollywood actor] 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.'"

"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."

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The IPL and the World Cup were originally scheduled to be held in India. However, due to the deteriorating Covid situation in the country, both major tournaments were moved to the UAE.

"I am very proud because the UAE as a whole and especially Dubai in particular hosts anything to the best. And of course, T20 World Cup is also a sign of good organisation. I would say we are lucky to be an alternative to India,” said Falaknaz.

"I am looking forward to hosting more India-Pakistan matches in Dubai. I will try and convince my friends in the BCCI for the same. If they are ready to play Pakistan, we will be more than happy to offer our venue."

Falaknaz claims that the BCCI has seen Dubai's potential and added, "I would invite them to come and hold their IPL, start here and finish in India or start in India and finish in Dubai. It all depends on what the BCCI wants to do. We are very friendly with them."