Kolkata, May 11
The Pakistan Cricket Board was ready to host a bilateral series with India in the United Arab Emirates in December, its chief Shahryar Khan said here on Sunday after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Khan said the series would start in December and comprise three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 as par the agreement signed between the two boards last year.
“We will resume the India-Pakistan series in the UAE. This is the re-beginning of the revival of Indo-Pak cricket,” Khan said after the 30-minute parleys at Dalmiya’s south Kolkata residence. However, he said Bangladesh was also keen to host a India-Pakistan series.
He said he was happy that Dalmiya had taken over as the Board of Control for Cricket in India chief and reminded the media of the seasoned sports administrator’s pro-active role that resulted in Pakistan hosting India for a bilateral series in 2004.
“I am glad that we could start the process again,” he said.
Addressing the joint media meet, Dalmiya exuded confidence about the restart of the bilateral engagements, but said the support of the government was a must for the plans to be implemented.
“We’re very hopeful about reviving the series. But we can’t go forward without the support of the home ministry and the government,” he said.
Describing an India-Pakistan cricket clash as bigger than the Ashes, or any other series in world cricket, the PCB chief said all tickets for the World Cup clash between the two teams at Adelaide in February were sold out in merely 20 minutes.
In a carefully drafted media release, the BCCI made guarded comments on the meeting.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur described the Dalmiya-Shahryar talks as a “courtesy meeting”, and said both were “hopeful” of positive results emerging from the discussions.
“The PCB chairman personally congratulated Dalmiya on his becoming the president, BCCI. Regarding the resumption of bilateral cricket ties, it was felt that it is desirable to recommence such cricket contact.”
However, the BCCI conceded that certain issues were yet to be thrashed out.
“After proactive discussions, since there are certain matters that need to be addressed and considered, it was decided to take appropriate steps.”
The two boards would be in regular touch and review the situation, said Thakur.
“India and Pakistan boards have inked a binding agreement that provides for the two sides playing 12 Tests, 20 One Day Internationals and 11 twenty20 Internationals during a six-year period. The opening engagement is slated to be played in December.”
The two neighbours, whose relations have often turned bitter, played their previous bilateral series in December-January 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India. (IANS)