PCB chief says Indo-Pak series a 'closed chapter'
With no definitive response from BCCI to PCB chief Shaharyar Khan's letter on the fate of the bilateral series, PCB has decided to stop pursuing the matter. The PCB chief said, "we haven't received a reply from the BCCI, therefore, we are closing this chapter now." He warned that PCB would raise the issue with the International Cricket Council and at the bilateral level.
Since 2007, BCCI has not played a proper bilateral Test series with Pakistan. India suspended all series with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which New Delhi blamed on militants from Pakistan. They last played a short series of three ODIs and two T20 matches in India in December 2012 and otherwise, met only in ICC-organized events or the Asia Cup.
India played 16 test series consisting of a total 59 test matches against Pakistan, from 1952 to 2007. Pakistan won 12 of them as opposed to India's 9. The rest 38 matches were drawn.
The Pakistan Cricket Board struck an agreement with BCCI to play six series against each other in the period between 2015 and 2023. According to the agreement, four of the six tournament will be hosted by the PCB, which may be held in UAE or in Pakistan with mutual consent. The other two would be hosted by India.
PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said that the new BCCI President Shashank Manohar invited him for talks on the proposed Indo-Pak cricket series, the future of which was uncertain in the wake of the strained political relations between India and Pakistan. He also said that he stressed upon BCCI to honour the MoU between PCB and BCCI, starting Pakistan's 'home' series in December this year.
Ahead of Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan's scheduled meeting with BCCI president Shashank Manohar, 40 to 50 members of Shiv Sena stormed the BCCI's headquarters at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, shouting slogans against Pakistan. They were seen waving placards that read, "Shahryar, Go Back." The activists told Mr. Manohar that BCCI should not resume ties with Pakistan, which they said sponsors terrorism.
ICC president Zaheer Abbas condemned the attack on BCCI headquarters in Mumbai by Shiv Sena workers. The Sena workers were protesting against the proposed bilateral series between India and Pakistan. Reacting on the issue, Abbas, who is also a former Pakistan cricketer, said that politics shouldn't be mixed with cricket. He also said that the entire cricketing world is waiting for an Indo-Pak series.
ICC has decided to withdraw Aleem Dar, the Pakistani umpire from the upcoming two matches of the one-day series between South Africa and India. Reports also claimed that former Pakistani cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram will also go after the fourth ODI and will not remain in Mumbai to complete their commentary projects. These decisions were taken in the wake of Shiv-Sena protests.
PCB chief Shaharyar Khan ruled out any chance of sending Pakistan cricket team to India. Khan asserted that the series would only be possible if India plays in UAE, which acts as Pakistan's home venue ever since the 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team. He asked what the problem was in playing in UAE when India had also played their IPL there.
Sri Lanka has emerged as the neutral venue of choice to host the India-Pakistan cricket series (UAE and India had been rejected). SLC has accepted this idea; however this has still to be accepted by the governments of India and Pakistan. The bilateral series would comprise of three ODIs and two T20s and would be played between 20 December 2015 and 3 January 2016.
After recent differences over the venue for proposed bilateral series, India and Pakistan have agreed to play in the 'neutral' venue of SL. The teams will play three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals starting from December 15. The confirmation of the series was announced after the Pakistan Cricket Board and Board of Control for Cricket in India obtained green signal from their respective governments.
BCCI's proposal to hold the India-Pakistan cricket match seems to have taken a hit with the Centre not willing for the match to happen in SL. A senior government official said that this proposal was unlikely to get approval at the time security breaches were taking place. Authorities believe the J&K attack was Pakistan's doing and think a match under such circumstances as unfavourable.