Bilateral series will help improve relations between India-Pakistan: PCB chief

The PCB chief Zaka Ashraf said the ICC would have a role to play in helping Pakistan revive international cricket in the country Getty Images

Lahore: Sep 17, 2012

PCB chief Zaka Ashraf feels revival of bilateral ties with neighbours India will go a long way in improving relations between the two countries.

Pakistan will be touring India later this year for a few One-dayers and T20 matches. India and Pakistan last played in a bilateral series in 2007 as cricketing ties between them froze following the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

“The coming series will only help in improving relations between the two countries,” he said.

Ashraf has admitted that the decision to not completely boycott the ICC annual awards ceremony was taken with a view to safeguard future relations with cricket’s governing body.

“We remain utterly disappointed that Saeed Ajmal was not shortlisted in any category for the awards. But we had to keep in mind our relations with the ICC as well,” Ashraf told reporters here.

“We know that the omission of Saeed was a mistake and clearly there is a need to review the process through which the nominees for the awards are selected. But we also had to keep in mind that the ICC is not against us and it has supported us a lot,” he added.

The PCB chief said the ICC would have a role to play in helping Pakistan revive international cricket in the country.

“We also had to safeguard our future relations with the ICC and that is why we decided to adopt a strategy where we conveyed our feelings on Saeed’s omission clearly to them and also didn’t offend them.”

No PCB official attended the ceremony in Colombo last Saturday as a protest against Ajmal’s omission.

“We feel that if nothing else, Saeed, with his brilliant performances, at least deserved to be shortlisted in one or two category if not being named as the eventual winner.”

Ashraf said his top priority is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan.

“Obviously our people are missing international cricket matches and we are working round the clock on getting other boards to send their teams to Pakistan.”(PTI)