Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt is in agreement with new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja that the current environment is not conducive to the resumption of Indo-Pak cricketing ties. According to Butt, there are too many 'political differences' between the two countries at the moment.
At his first press conference since taking over as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Raja was asked whether Indo-Pak ties would resume. “Impossible right now” was Raja's response.
Echoing Raja’s views, Butt observed that relations can only improve if both countries so desire:
“Ramiz Raja gave a very reasonable response when asked whether Indo-Pak ties could be brought back on track. He candidly stated that it is impossible as of now. There are a lot of political differences and a gap has been created in the relation between the two countries. Yes, somewhere along the line, the situation could improve. But, immediately, it is impossible, which is quite right.”
Salman Butt added that the resumption of cricketing ties with India was not his country’s priority as of now. What is more important is to improve the overall structure of cricket in Pakistan, Butt said.
“He [Raja] doesn’t seem to be in a hurry as well to improve Indo-Pak relations. Action can only take place when both sides are ready, you cannot clap with one hand. This is definitely the right way to look at it."
According to Butt:
"Also, right now this is not the issue at hand. What’s important right now is to improve Pakistan cricket and its infrastructure. Players have to be given the right path to move ahead. Everything should be on merit. These are things that Pakistan need to focus on at present.”
Butt, the former opening batsman, added:
“Yes, we all wish to see India-Pakistan matches. Fans on both sides are eager for the same. But some people think differently. At the moment, what they are thinking is happening. So this is not the time to think or talk about it.”
We have to focus on our domestic cricket - Ramiz Raja
Speaking at the presser, Raja said the priority, as of now, is Pakistan's domestic cricket.
"[Indo-Pak bilateral games are] Impossible right now… because the sporting model has been spoiled by politics, and right now it is a status quo, and we are not in a hurry on this issue because we have to focus on our domestic and local cricket."
India and Pakistan have been facing each other only in ICC events in the last few years. The two will clash at the T20 World Cup on October 24 in Dubai.