Uncertainty looms over Ind-Pak bilateral cricket

Pakistan are scheduled to tour India for three Tests and five ODIs in 2012 Getty Images

Lahore: Aug 14, 2011

The Pakistan-India bilateral series, scheduled for next year in the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, faces an uncertain future with the PCB still awaiting response from the BCCI on whether the Indian government will grant clearance for the historic tour.

“From our side, we have obtained the government approval to play the series but the Indian board has told us that they will get back to us with details of the series after getting clearance from their government,” a PCB official told PTI.

“As far as we are concerned, the tour is on and we are just waiting for the Indians to give the final clearance as we want to discuss some other options with them for the series,” the board official added.

Pakistan and India have not played in a bilateral series since the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. As per the FTP, Pakistan are scheduled to tour India for three Tests and five ODIs in March-April 2012.

The official said that the BCCI working committee will meet this week in India and PCB expects them to discuss the issue of restoration of bilateral cricket ties.

“One of their senior board officials, Rajeev Shukla has indicated that the BCCI will discuss future series and the tour next year in the meeting so we are waiting for a positive response,” he added.

The PCB has indicated that it is keen to convince the Indian board to play a few limited over matches of next year’s series at a neutral venue so that the PCB can earn some revenue as compensation for the cancelled tour in 2009.

“Our government had publicly said that it wanted resumption of bilateral cricket ties with India and this was discussed even by our foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar when she visited India recently,” the official noted.

“But the Indian board has told us they will only move forward once they get the green signal from their government,” he added.

Pakistan last toured India in 2007 when Shoaib Malik was captain.

Pakistan have a busy international calendar as they first tour Zimbabwe for a Test and three ODIs later this month and then play Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah from October 17 to November 27 in three Tests, five ODIs and one-off Twenty20.

The board official confirmed that one Test would be played in Sharjah, which will host a full international game after nearly eight years, while the remaining Tests would be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi will host three ODIs and Dubai two ODIs and a Twenty20 game.

Pakistan will then tour Bangladesh for two Tests and three ODIs in December and then take on England in the UAE in January-February before the Asia Cup followed by the scheduled tour to India.(PTI)