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Hint of cricket series between Pakistan and India

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has hinted at holding a bilateral cricket series with India, the final decision of which could be taken at the next meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Pakistan and India have not played a bilateral series since 2013 as the bilateral series came to a complete standstill due to strained relations between the two countries.

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The two countries have not faced each other in a Test series since the 2007 season. However, both teams have competed in ICC events and the Asia Cup.

The ICC is meeting in Dubai this month, where the Indian Cricket Board is expected to announce its decision on restoring cricket ties with Pakistan.

The Indian board also needs to be briefed on visa guarantees and security arrangements for Pakistani players, spectators and journalists for the ICCT20 World Cup.

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This mega event is taking place in India later this year. Pakistan had warned that if India did not guarantee visas and security for Pakistani players, spectators and journalists, it would press for the event to be moved out of India.

However, at the political level, after some snow has melted between the two countries, it is now expected that sports ties between the two countries will be restored.

PCB media manager Shakeel Khan told Arab News: “Delegations from both (Pakistan and India) will attend the ICC meeting and progress is certainly expected on this (mutual series).”

We were always ready to play a bilateral series with India but the other side always stood in the way,” he said.

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Shakeel Khan added that the Pakistani team has already played in India twice, so this time the Indian team has to come to Pakistan for the series.

Cricket has played a key role in easing diplomatic tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi in the past.

Given the recent positive change in relations after years of animosity, the PCB is hopeful that bilateral matches will resume but is now awaiting a response from its Indian counterpart.

Shakeel Khan said: “If India really wants to restore cricketing ties, it is now entirely up to the BCCI to decide on the terms and conditions for a bilateral series during the ICC meeting.

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