“What we have seen that the BJP government has even met with them, their national security advisers met in Bangkok, our Prime Minister met with their Prime Minister in Kufa, then the Prime Minister went to Lahore and participated in a wedding ceremony, a birthday party and what not. So if all that could happen, why can’t we play cricket,” he asked.
The statement comes amid reports that the BCCI will have its way and keep Pakistan out of the six nations that India will play during the upcoming World Test Championship.
He said the situation has changed since the ban was imposed and the sport should not be held hostage. India last played Pakistan in a bilateral series when they hosted the neighbours for a three-match One-Day International (ODI) in December 2012.
“I do believe India and Pakistan should play cricket, because my view of the India and Pakistan relationship is that we unfortunately are not going to go too far with diplomatic contacts through them," he said, urging for more people to people contact between the two countries.
However, former India captain MS Dhoni, who is in Jammu and Kashmir, has different views on the subject. Speaking to reporters in Baramulla district on Sunday, Dhoni said it is up to the government to take a decision on India-Pakistan matches.
“When it comes to India-Pakistan cricket, it is not just sports, but becomes much bigger than that. It is not a simple decision, but a diplomatic and a political decision. I think we should leave it to the government to decide. If the government decides, we will go and play and if they decide against it, we will play some other series,” he said.