LAHORE/SIALKOT - International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas Monday said that Pakistan-India cricket series was an internal matter of both the cricket boards and the ICC could not play a role in this regard.

"It is imperative that both the countries should play cricket and if these two neighboring countries play cricket, it will help in bettering mutual relations,” said Zaheer while talking to the reporters here at Kinnaird College University for Women (KCUW) here Monday.

The ICC chief said that both Pakistan and India should be aware of the fact that Pak-India cricket series was in the larger interest of cricket in the region and revival of such series would go a long way in promoting cricket in the sub-continent. "Revival of bilateral cricket series between Pakistan and India is a matter related to both the cricket boards and ICC cannot play a role in it but definitely such cricket events will be very beneficial for the overall development of the game in the region,” he added.

Former batting great termed Pakistan cricket team one of the best sides in the world and added it was showing significant improvement which was evident from its recent good performance. “Pakistan team is not an ordinary team, its performance is on upward trend and the more it will perform better, the more it will gain attention,” he added.

The former cricket captain said it was unfortunate that Pakistan had been deprived of international cricket and he was saddened to see that foreign teams were not visiting Pakistan owing to security concerns. "Resumption of international cricket is everyone's desire and wish but until security situation improves to a certain level foreign teams will not be visiting Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, ICC president Zaheer Abbas also visited the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) where he honoured by SCCI officials including its president Fazal Jillani, SVP Mir Alamgir Meyer, VP M Naseer Ahmed, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PGMEA) chairman M Younas, Sialkot Dry Port Trust (SDPT) chairman Khawar Anwar Khawaja and Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) vice chairman Haji Aftab Barlas and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Zaheer said that the ICC had been playing its pivotal role in promotion of cricket around the globe following the changing trends of international cricket. “Pakistan should wait for the suitable time for the resumption of international cricket in the country.”

He has suggested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to come forward and promote cricket at Sialkot, which is globally known for producing the world class sports goods. “The PCB should also establish cricket grounds at Sialkot to promote local cricket talent.”

Zaheer also asked the trendy Sialkot exporters to also establish the international standard five star hotels at Sialkot on self help basis, as they had already established their own private international airport at Sialkot and now they were establishing their own private airline on self help basis.

Recalling his past memories, Zaheer discussed in details the matters of mutual interest with trendy Sialkot business community during an important meeting scheduled held at SCCI auditorium.