PCB hopes BCCI would adhere to MOU between the boards and improve the prospects of bilateral series © PTI
PCB hopes BCCI would adhere to MOU between the boards and improve the prospects of bilateral series © PTI

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan suggested on Friday that his country can “survive” without playing any series against neighbour and arch rivals India but also he hoped that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would adhere to the MOU between the boards and improve the prospects of bilateral series in the future. The bilateral series between both countries have been discussed a lot lately with the senior official Najam Sethi had told a couple of days back that he doesn’t find the that serious to say there will be no cricket and was assured about the bilateral series taking place in December. READ: PCB believes India-Pakistan series will be played in December

According to a report from Cricinfo, Khan said: “Given the present circumstance, the chances of a Pakistan-India series look bleak and we have to live with the fact that India are not going to play us. At the same time the BCCI hasn’t formally refused us, but we can’t wait long amid this uncertainty and have got to have an alternative plan. We will wait for another couple of months before forcing our plan B.

“I hope the climate will improve but at the moment it’s more a political tension … the relationship between the countries is complex but cricket shouldn’t be suffering, it is after all something that can be a tool to lower the tension,” he added.
Like in the past, the Indian government will have a final say on the popular matter but going by the recent tweet of BCCI secretary and BJP MP Anurag Thakur, it doesn’t make the fans on either of the side of border any more hopeful.

“We have nothing to do with Dawood Ibrahim. Our government has made it clear time and again that he is not in Pakistan. It is a part of political ups and downs. Cricket is one way we can build up better relations,” said Khan when asked about Thakur’s controversial tweet last month.

Are you really serious about peace and you expect we’ll play cricket with you?” Thakur had posted. Khan said that there can’t be a deadline on Indo-Pak cricketing matters as most decisions are taken in 11th hour, but he is hoping for a positive response from BCCI and the Indian government.

“The Pakistan government is in favour of cricketing ties with India. It is time for the Indian government to take a stand. Politics and cricket should be kept aside. There will always be ups and downs in India-Pakistan ties. We also came and played on your soil in 1999 when the atmosphere was tense, the public gave huge support to us, wherever we went.

“Then you came here after a long break in 2004. I have written to Jagmohan Dalmiya that you made it happen then (2004), you can make it happen now. In fact, cricket led to improvement in the relations between the two countries. The India-Pakistan series is the most watched event in the sporting world. You can’t deprive the fans from both sides from watching their cricketers,” said Khan.

The Bhopal-born administrator also clarified that he never said that India should reward Pakistan for supporting the powerful body in its joint takeover of the ICC alongside Australia and England.

The BCCI had signed an MOU to play Pakistan in six series between 2015 and 2023, with the first to be hosted by the PCB in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December. History seems to be repeating itself here as in the past India and Pakistan did not play for 17 years because of the wars in 1965 and 71. And the strained political relationship between the countries has once again put the series in doubt. The last full series was in 2007, when Pakistan toured India. READ: Azhar Ali wants Pakistan to adapt attacking style of gameplay