We are Open to Cricket Series Against Pakistan: Dhoni

Gurgaon, Jun 1 (IANS): India's cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Thursday said Team India was open to play against arch-rivals Pakistan if the two boards agree to have a bilateral series in India.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf, who was invited to watch the IPL final between the Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders, had fruitful talks with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials to revive cricket ties between the two countries.

An elated Dhoni said India-Pakistan series at home would be the best thing to have. India have suspended bilateral sporting ties with pakistan since the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai by Pakistani nationals.

"Pakistan if they come here and play us, nothing better than that. We are open for it. But according to schedule, I don't know where it will fit," said Dhoni, on the sidelines of the inauguration of his chain of gyms, Sportsfit.

Dhoni also paid rich tributes to Indian chess legend Vishwanathan Anand, who Wednesday won the world title for the fifth time in Moscow. Dhoni said Anand was an idol for all sportspersons.

"Anand is an inspiration for all sportsperson. I had a rare opportunity to meet him once and found he was extremely humble and down to earth. What he has done recently is simply incredible. And what he has been doing consistently is marvellous," said Dhoni.

Dhoni was also taken aback when he heard the news of retirement of England batsman and former skipper Kevin Pietersen from ODIs and Twenty20.

"I am surprised with his decision. He has been a great cricketer in both the formats of the game. We have all enjoyed his batting and he had a great impact in this year's IPL as well. He will be sincerely missed in this years World Twenty20. It is good that he will carry on playing in Test cricket and I wish him luck in his career," said Dhoni.

The India captain also said that he wants to make the best use of the one-and-half month's break from international cricket.

"The break is very important for me. But there are lot of prior commitments. I have to do some work with the 'Territorial Army' and 'Save the Tiger' campaign. We have been playing without a break for the last four years and now hopefully I can spend some quality time with my family. I may even go for a vacation," he said.


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