Anurag Thakur © IANS
Anurag Thakur © IANS

The Indian Cricket Board’s Secretary Anurag Thakur condemned the terrorist attack on a police station in Punjab on Monday and indirectly warned Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about of no cricketing ties if peace is not maintained. Many believe the attack is being run by Indian-administered Kashmir, according to Times of India. He said, “Pakistan need to know that cricket can’t be played if the security and peace of our nation is affected. I understand a sport is a different thing, but our internal security is important.” India is scheduled to play Pakistan for two Tests and five One-Day Internationals (ODIs), with United Arab Emirates (UAE) being the host. READ: Anurag Thakur condemns terror attack in Gurdaspur; puts Indo-Pak series in jeopardy

“We have certain issues between the boards and our country also has issues,” Thakur said. “We need to sort them out before playing cricket against Pakistan. I met the PCB representatives during the ICC meetings in Barbados. The board is not against having dialogue, but the security of the country is paramount.”

Earlier, former PCB chairman Najam Sethi has said that he is still optimistic about the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral cricket series in December. “If you ask me I am optimistic at this moment that we will have the series but given the history of Indo-Pak relations one can’t say for certain what will be the situation in a few weeks or months,” Sethi said on a television channel. Sethi was the chairman of the PCB when the Big Three formula of governance was adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and it also led to India and Pakistan signing a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to resume bilateral series which have remained suspended since 2008 after the Mumbai terror attacks.
Sethi said that he was also optimistic because according to his sources when the foreign secretaries of both the countries met this year, they both agreed that while the old issues and conflicts between the two neighboring countries will remain the best way to keep on having channels open for talks and discussions was to play cricket.

“The foreign secretaries agreed that cricket was one important way of keeping the channel open for talks and improving relations. That is why I am optimistic that the governments of Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi also want the cricket series to take place,” he added. Despite the MoU the two boards are yet to formally confirm that the series will be held in December although the PCB has made it clear that it is proceeding ahead with groundwork and the series will be played in the UAE.