The prospects of next month’s India-Pakistan series got a major boost on Thursday after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave his country’s cricket team the clearance to play the limited-overs matches in Sri Lanka.
According to a report by Geo News, Sharif has written to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), giving permission for playing against India at a neutral venue.
The PCB sought the prime minister’s permission for a series including Tests, One-Day Internationals (ODI) and T20s with India in Sri Lanka. But Sharif has given permission for either T20, ODI or Test series with India in Sri Lanka, keeping in view the security situation.
The series was originally scheduled to be hosted by the PCB in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to play in the UAE and offered to host the series in India. The invitation was rejected by the PCB.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief Giles Clarke, who heads the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Pakistan Task Force, last week held a meeting between PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and BCCI president Shashank Manohar in Dubai, where Sri Lanka was chosen as the possible venue.
The series has not recevied any official confirmation yet, but the PCB officials have described the meeting as “fruitful”.
The two boards signed an MoU last year agreeing to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, with Pakistan hosting the first in December.
The Pakistan team has been playing its home series in the UAE for the last six years due to security concerns in its own country.