Sharjah is the match-fixing centre and our team will not play there again," this was around the year 2000 when, after the match-fixing scandal, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stated this simple message."
The relationship between the UAE and India improved in 2014, which is why the latter agreed to conduct the initial IPL matches that year in the UAE as a result of elections in India.
The latest outbreak has prompted the BCCI to once again move the IPL to the UAE and a deal between the two nations has also been signed. If India does not get a handle on the situation of the corona virus, then it is highly likely that the next series will also take place in the UAE against England and the next IPL.
At the cost of the Pakistan team, which was left without cricket at home because of the security situation, the same Indians who cracked jokes are now facing a similar situation as Pakistan prepares in the coming days for cricket at home.
The PSL has been a huge success with many major international teams, and while the BCCI is struggling to host the IPL in the UAE, Pakistan is getting ready to host the rest of the PSL on its home soil. It is also anticipated that Pakistan will host a series this year against Zimbabwe.
On the other hand, if it did not host the IPL, India would have suffered a loss of nearly Rs.3300 crore, a price that would have taken even the world's richest cricket board to its knees. International cricketers have arrived for the IPL in the UAE like aliens clad in protective gear from head to toe.
Pakistan should keep an eye on the rising UAE-India partnership. A strong partnership with their UAE counterparts has always been maintained by the Men in Green, but a tension emerged last year when the PCB did not release any players for the T10 League.
At a time when there were no countries willing to tour Pakistan, the UAE supported us. Now, when the time is right for us, we should not leave them. While PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani has argued that there will be no future matches in the UAE, it remains a friendly country. Bidding on separate occurrences together speaks volumes about the relationship between the two nations. This needs to be upheld.
At the same time, it should be borne in mind that India will try to sow the seeds between the UAE and Pakistan for hostility. As the photos of Pakistan players were blurred from a photo of the visit of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to the Sharjah ground, the pettiness of the Indians can be seen. Ganguly may not have meant it, but the intense feelings of the people back home are well known to him. Can a population that cannot even bear images of Pakistani players on the ground allow unhindered ties between the UAE and Pakistan to develop? Indian matches are definitely more lucrative for the UAE, but they should also take stock of the importance of the relationships they have formed over time. Rather than dwelling on frivolous internal issues, such as cracking down on journalists, the PCB should keep these things in mind.
The PCB needs to improve its relations with the other boards in the world at a time when there is a genuine fear of the resurgence of the Big Three in the world of cricket.