Lahore: The continuing freeze on Indo-Pak bilateral cricket is "frustrating", says Shoaib Akhtar but the former pacer does not agree with Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf's "politically incorrect" statement that the Indians are intimidated by the prospect of taking on an in-form Pakistan.
"Obviously it is frustrating the way the Indians have avoided playing us for some reason or the other all these years. But I think Zaka Ashraf's statement was a bit too strong and he needed to be careful while giving comments because of his position as PCB Chairman," the former pacer said on a television show.
The fast bowler said he could understand the mindset of the PCB chief when he made the statement on relations with India.
"Obviously it is frustrating the way the Indians have avoided playing us," said Shoaib Akhtar.
"But it was a bit too strong. I think he meant that Pakistan in its current form could beat anyone. It is also a fact that since 1985 we have won more matches against India because we have produced some of the most exciting talent in international cricket," he said.
Akhtar, who retired during the 2011 World Cup, said it was unfortunate that Pakistan and India didn't play against each other more often as it deprived the cricket followers in both countries of great contests.
The 36-year old also urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reduce the five-year ban on teen fast bowler Mohammad Amir for his involvement in spot-fixing as he feels the youngster deserved a second chance.
"Everyone deserves a second chance in life. Everyone makes mistakes. He should be made to realise the wrong he has done. But he should also be used as a role model to educate others about the evil of corruption in sports," Akhtar said.