MCC, Victoria government interested to host India-Pakistan Test at MCG
According to an ESPNcricinfo report, the Melbourne Cricket Club and the Victorian government are keen to host an India-Pakistan Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Cricket Australia (CA) has received informal queries about the same following the success of the ICC T20 World Cup encounter between the two teams in October. Notably, India and Pakistan haven't clashed in a Test since 2007.
Why does this story matter?
- India and Pakistan do not engage in bilateral international series due to political tensions. They only face each other in multilateral tournaments.
- The two countries recently clashed in the T20 World Cup.
- The last India-Pakistan bilateral series was held in 2012/13 when Pakistan defeated India 2-1 (ODIs).
- Hosting the greatest cricketing rivalry would be fruitful for any cricket board in terms of revenue.
Stuart Fox informed about the development
MCC CEO Stuart Fox, while speaking on SEN radio on Day 4 of the second Test between Australia and South Africa, revealed that the club and Victoria government inquired to CA about hosting a neutral Test. Notably, over 90,000 spectators attended the last-ball thriller between India and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup at the MCG.
ECB made a similar offer in September
In September, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) made a similar offer to the PCB. Martin Darlow, the ECB's deputy chair, discussed the idea with the then PCB chief Ramiz Raja during the Pakistan-England T20I series. However, the PCB and BCCI declined the offer.
Tensions about the upcoming events
In November, former PCB chief Ramiz made it crystal clear that Pakistan will not participate in the 2023 ODI World Cup if India don't travel for the Asia Cup next year scheduled in Pakistan. Notably, Pakistan have the hosting rights of next year's continental event. Meanwhile, the World Cup is scheduled to take place in India in the same year.
India beat Pakistan at the T20 World Cup
India beat Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener at the MCG. The Men in Blue chased 160, with Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya sharing a century stand. India bounced back after Naseem Shah and Harris Rauf wreaked havoc. Kohli guided India to glory. India avenged their loss from the 2021 event, claiming a 13th World Cup win against Pakistan.
A look at the head-to-head record
India and Pakistan have clashed in a total of 203 internationals so far. As far as the head-to-head record is concerned, Pakistan lead 88-73. One match resulted in a bowl-out, while four games were abandoned. Pakistan lead 12-9 in Tests and 73-55 in ODIs. Meanwhile, India lead 9-3 in T20I cricket. Pakistan have a lead of 42-40 at neutral venues.