October 25, 2016

India, Pakistan still deadlocked over cricket series

ICC chairman and president of the BCCI Shashank Manohar. PHOTOS: AFP

The deadlock over a proposed series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan continued Sunday with the heads of both the boards present in Dubai.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Shashank Manohar is here to familiarise with the working of the International Cricket Council (ICC) after taking over as its chairman.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan is also in Dubai to watch Pakistan play England in the one-day series, but there is no meeting scheduled between him and Monohar.

Manohar told The National newspaper that India has not received a reply from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on a proposal to play the matches in India.

‘We want to play in India. That is the thing,’ Manohar said. ‘Presently, we gave an option to Pakistan asking them whether they will come to India. Pakistan was to get back to me, they haven’t got back to me. So I don’t know what is the position.’

Khan maintained his team will not travel to India and would play the series in United Arab Emirates (UAE), as agreed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last year.

Khan said a final decision on the series will only be taken by Pakistan government.

‘The matter is now political,’ Khan said on Friday. ‘Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif has directed us that any decision will now be taken by the government and not by the PCB.’

Pakistan and India have not played a bilateral series since 2007. India stalled cricketing ties in the aftermath of 2008 terrorists’ attacks on Mumbai, which were blamed on militants based in Pakistan.

Under the MoU both the boards had agreed to play six series between 2015-2023, with four series to be hosted by Pakistan.

But all series were subject to clearance from the respective governments.

The December-January series comprises of two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 internationals but with time running out the series could be shortened to limited over matches.

There are reports that another neutral venue—Sri Lanka or Bangladesh—could also be considered, if India continued to refuse as UAE as venue.

PCB has hoped mediation from England and Wales Cricket Board president Giles Clarke, also here in Dubai to meet Manohar later Sunday, can help in a breakthrough on the fate of the series.

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