The Pakistan Cricket Board has written to its Indian counterpart Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) inquiring if December’s bilateral series will be played or not. India have in recent times hinted that cross-border terrorism could jeopardise the mouth-watering cricket series.
“Politics is vulnerable to highs and lows and the sport of cricket should be kept away from it,” Pakistan newspaper The Express Tribune quoted PCB chief Shaharyar Khan as saying. “Cricket is a tool to formulate peace between the countries.”
The BCCI had signed an MOU to play Pakistan in six series between 2015 and 2023, with the first to be hosted by the PCB in the UAE in December. But the Indian board has not been forthcoming on the proposed series largely due to political implications. The two boards had also differed over television broadcast rights. As things stand now, the Indian Home Ministry’s clearance will be the clinching factor for the series to be played.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, currently out of the country with a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) delegation, had done some tough talking after reports emerged that wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim was in Karachi and Pakistan was shielding him. “Dawood in Karachi. NSA wants to meet separatists here. Are you really serious about peace and you expect we’ll play cricket with you?” Thakur had said in a Twitter message. (Read more here)
Khan himself had indulged in muscle flexing. “It’s not that we can’t survive without playing them,” Shaharyar told Cricinfo last week. “We are surviving, and can survive, but our position is that the game shouldn’t be mixed up with the politics. So we are trying to get the series revived based on the MOU they have signed with us. They have to honour it and if they don’t it’s their responsibility.”
Pakistan and India have not played a full bilateral Test series since 2007 although Pakistan did tour India in the winter of 2012/13 to play three ODIs and two T20 matches.