Lahore: July 6, 2012
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on friday that it was engaged in discussions with the Board for Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at the highest level for restoration of bilateral ties between both the countries.
Welcoming the statements of the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries on resumption of bilateral ties, the PCB said it saw the invitation to Pakistan to send its domestic T20 champions to the Champions League tournament as the first step towards resumption of bilateral ties.
The foreign secretaries said at a joint press conference that both governments wanted more sporting contacts between the two countries and resumption of bilateral cricket ties.
India's foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, whose statement was widely reported in the Pakistan media, also said that while security in Pakistan remained an issue, resumption of cricket ties was the domain and decision of the BCCI.
"The statements have come at a time when heads of both the Boards are in close contact with each other. During the recent visit of PCB Chairman Ch. Zaka Ashraf to India and at the sidelines of last month's ICC and ACC meetings in Malaysia, Chairman PCB had several meetings with his counterpart BCCI President Mr. S. Srinivasan. Both have agreed to resume the bilateral cricketing ties between the two countries," the PCB statement said.
"As a first step Pakistan's domestic champion outfit recently have received an invite to participate in the Qualifying Tournament of Champions League Twenty20 being played in South Africa," it added.
While commenting on this development PCB spokesman said, "We welcome this statement that is highly constructive. Both boards are engaged at the highest level with the objective of resumption of cricketing relations between the two countries and this endorsement will further reinforce this already improved environment."
India has not had bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since 2007 after the Mumbai terror attacks took place in november, 2008.
"There is a problem with the packed international calendar of both teams to find suitable dates for holding even a short series to signal resumption of ties but it will happen soon," a PCB official told PTI.
He said Pakistan had no issues with sending its team to India to play the resumption series if India didn't want to play at a neutral venue.