PCB not running after BCCI to resume bilateral cricket ties: Zaka Ashraf

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf said it is a fact that India also wants to play a series with Pakistan

Karachi: Jan 10, 2012

Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday said there was nothing bigger than India-Pakistan matches for cricket fans in Pakistan but refuted suggestions that it was running after the BCCI for the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two countries.

The cricket ties between India and Pakistan stand suspended since 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

“We are an independent body and there is no question of us running after the Indian board to resume bilateral cricket series,” Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf said at a meet the press programme at the Karachi Press Club.

“I have made efforts to convince the Indian board to resume bilateral ties because people of both countries and even the critics and sponsors want to see Indo-Pak matches.

“I know that the day we resume ties and play a series with India, it will have a big impact on Pakistan cricket because for the Pakistani people there is nothing bigger than matches with India,” he said.

Ashraf also dismissed suggestions that the PCB had gone out of its way to have friendly ties with the Indians but they had not responded likewise and the PCB Chairman had to cancel a planned visit to India.

“Yes since I took over as Chairman we took the initiative to write to them and other Boards to support us in resuming international cricket activities in Pakistan. But it is not right to say the Indians have rejected our friendly overtures.”

The PCB chief explained that Indo-Pak relations were governed and influenced by the governments.

“The Indian Board has told us that they have written to their concerned ministries to get clearance to plan a bilateral series with us. Similarly we have also written to our foreign ministry in this connection. I am pretty hopeful there will be some positive development soon. But it is a fact that the Indians also want to play a series with us,” he said.

The PCB suffered a major setback when the Indian board refused to confirm the scheduled tour of Pakistan to India next year in March-April.

Among the different reasons given for not confirming the dates were clearance from the government, the organisation of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March and the IPL.

“We want to play India but it is not correct to suggest that we are running after them and they are ignoring us. The bottom line is that as Chairman of the board I want to have good relations with all the boards and not just India,” he added. (PTI)