PCB interim chief Najam Sethi says he will meet BCCI President N Srinivasan next month

Najam Sethi said that it was important for both India and Pakistan to resume bilateral ties quickly © AFP

Karachi: Sep 18, 2013

The interim chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi has said that he will be meeting with his Indian counterpart N Srinivasan next month to discuss a host of issues, including the resumption of bilateral cricket ties and Pakistani players participation in Indian Premier League (IPL).

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief, Srinivisan has agreed in principle to have the meeting and I am hopeful we can move forward in our relations with India. The participation of the Faisalabad Wolves team in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) is a positive move,” Sethi said on Tuesday.

He said the breakthrough came after the chief operating officer of PCB Subhan Ahmad met with BCCI officials in Chennai and discussed Indo-Pak bilateral ties.

Earlier, Sethi told reporters in Lahore that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had told him to take steps to improve cricket relations with India.

“After the support of the prime minister, I am keen to travel to India soon and meet the BCCI officials to try to convince them how important it is for both the countries to play bilateral series,” Sethi said.

The PCB chief said cricket had always played a big role in improving ties between the two countries and that is why the prime minister had stressed on meeting with BCCI officials.

Sharif, since coming into power in June, has laid lot of stress on improving relations with India and has nominated former foreign secretary, Shaharyar Khan to engage in back door diplomacy towards this end.

But even Khan on returning from India last week said they were no indications that India was presently interested in resuming bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan or would send its team to Pakistan because of security concerns.

Pakistan team toured India for a short one-day series last December on the invitation of the BCCI but since then there has been no talk on having a full bilateral series suspended since 2007.