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ICC Champions Trophy: Edgbaston eager to host India-Pakistan bilateral series as neutral venue

New Delhi: Amid the hustle and bustle, controversies and meetings, the Edgbaston stadium of England, has shown interest in becoming the neutral venue to stage the anticipated cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan. The statement was made by Warwickshire chief executive Neil Snowball, on June 2, two days ahead of their clash at the venue.

In an interview with BBC Sport, Snowball said, “If they wanted this game at a neutral venue, I would hope they would consider Edgbaston – we would be very interested in looking at that.”

Twice has Edgbaston staged the rivalry, both at ICC Champions Trophy, with a victory for each.

“We have the experience of handling it,” Snowball said. “It is not the sort of game you can take anywhere because it is a completely unique match with a completely unique collection of fans and atmosphere.”

It was back in the year 2013, that the two nations last faced each other in a bilateral series in India, where the visitors scalped a victory edging past MS Dhoni-led side by 2-1 in a three-match series. Since then, constant trouble between the neighbours, that goes beyond the 22 yards of their knowledge has interfered the much-appreciated rivalry.

Just a couple of days back, Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel said, “I have made it clear that bilateral cricket with Pakistan is not possible till the time there is a cross-border terror. We have, however, no say on multilateral events (ICC tournaments).”

However, outside international tournaments, India and Pakistan have barely met, despite its ticket being all sold out within a week or two for Sunday’s clash, in a nation that comprises of merely 20 per cent Indians and Pakistanis.

An India-Pakistan match has always been just more than a game. It’s a festival for the fans, an addiction (as explained by #sabsebadamoh). The last time the team met in World Cup T20 2016 for a group encounter, the venue was shifted from Dharamsala to Eden Gardens, due to security reasons.

The India-Pakistan match has drawn much hype since the Champions Trophy draw last year. Arguably the biggest sporting rivalry, billions remain glued to the television sets to live to through each second of the thrill. Discussions are still on, meetings are being held as fans eagerly await for yet another bilateral series.

Source: Zee News