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Cricket can bring Pakistan, India closer, says ex-Pak cricketer Azhar

May 6, 2012 - Islamabad

Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has said cricket has no boundaries and the game can play a part in reviving the ties between India and Pakistan.

"When we toured (India) in 1997, there was a tension between the two nations. But after that tour, tensions eased and the situation improved. The game has no boundaries. In the past, it was cricket which brought the two nations together, and I hope it will play the same role in future too," the Daily Times quoted Mahmood, as saying.

Mahmood, who now holds a British passport, is the only Pakistan player playing in the current season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Cricketing ties between the two neighbours remain suspended since the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.

"I hope the tensions between the two countries ease, and like two good neighbours, we live together and move forward. That will be good for every Pakistani and Indian as well. We want peace," he said.

Mahmood, who is playing for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, had faced visa problems before coming to India. But the 37-year-old said the incident is history now.

"The issue is over, done and dusted. It has been a wonderful experience to play in the IPL, where top players from around the world share the same dressing room. I am quite happy to be part of Kings XI Punjab and the IPL," he said.


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