Najam Sethi

Najam Sethi said that he had assurances about a possible bilateral series between India and Pakistan in 2014 © AFP

Lahore: Oct 5, 2013

The caretaker Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi has expressed confidence that a bilateral series with India could be held next year.

“I have got assurances that next year we could have a bilateral but for this year this is not on our agenda with India,” Sethi told the media during the logo unveiling ceremony of the Pakistan and South Africa series in the UAE.

Sethi said Pakistan had been told by the government to lay stress on convincing international teams to tour Pakistan and a bilateral series with India was high on this agenda.

“We also realize that revival of international cricket is very important for us and we have already started working on those lines and we are also working out plans for our premier league next year,” Sethi said.

He said he planned to visit India soon to start discussions with the Indian cricket officials for a bilateral series.

“Everyone knows that even cricket ties with India are dictated to by the political relations between the two countries and I am confident we might see a bilateral series next year,” he said.

India has not played a full bilateral series with Pakistan since 2007 although it invited Pakistan for a short series in India last December.

Interestingly, even the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, whose brother Nawaz Sharif is the prime minister, told reporters at a ceremony at the Gaddafi stadium on Friday evening that he had told the PCB to lay stress on reviving international cricket in the country.

“We have assured full cooperation to the PCB in security and other matters if it invites any team to tour the country as soon as possible,” Shahbaz said.

“We will prove to the world that under the current circumstances the country is quite capable of holding international events and I will ask the PCB to immediately invite any international team to Pakistan.

“We will provide all kind of security to our distinguished visiting team,” Sharif said.

“Pakistan is in dire need of international cricket events, so the PCB should launch full efforts,” he added.

International teams stopped touring Pakistan because of security reasons after the Sri Lankan side was attacked by militants in March, 2009 in the city.