India last played Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 © Getty Images
India last played Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 © Getty Images

Islamabad: India’s foreign minister told her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz that a thaw in relations between the nuclear-armed rivals could also pave the way for a much-anticipated cricket series, he told lawmakers Friday. Pakistan is awaiting the green light from New Delhi on the series, which cricket boards in both countries have agreed would consist of three one-day and two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) set to be played in Sri Lanka in December-January. Islamabad has given permission for it to go ahead, but with ties strained between the two neighbours the government in New Delhi has not. However a recent thaw saw Swaraj visit Islamabad this week for a two-day regional conference that ended with a diplomatic breakthrough as both sides agreed to hold high-level peace talks. READ: India-Pakistan ICC World T20 2016 clash confirmed for March 19 at Dharamsala

No cricket announcement was made, but Aziz stated in the National Assembly session on Friday that Swaraj told him: “Cricket and other matters will happen once relations improve.” The PCB has warned that any staging of the series is getting more difficult with the delay, with its head telling media in Lahore Friday that it would wait until the weekend for a decision. READ: India, Pakistan drawn in Group B for ICC World T20 2016

Shahryar Khan a few days back had said, “We were hoping for some positive development finally but it is very disappointing that cricket was not discussed in the meeting between the Indian Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” Khan was quoted as saying by The Dawn paper on Wednesday. “The prospects of organising a series now seem very bleak and we stand to lose at least $50 million under the current scenario.”

(With inputs from IANS)