Ehsan Mani said that the resumption of bilateral series between both countries may act as a catalyst to better relations. @ Getty Images
Ehsan Mani said that the resumption of bilateral series between both countries may act as a catalyst to better relations. @ Getty Images

Newly elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani, who took over the reins from the incumbent Najam Sethi after Pakistan great Imran Khan was elected Prime Minister, has made his stance clear when it comes to their arch-rivals playing in Pakistan territory. India and Pakistan have not been engaged in a bilateral series in any format since January 2013 but have faced each other 10 times in multilateral events.

“I don’t intend to ask India to play us at all,” Mani told ESPNCricinfo on Tuesday.

“If they want to play, they tell us, if they don’t want to play that’s fine. But we are not going to go after them, we are not going to beg them. It’s good for the game if India-Pakistan play each other but it will be on equal terms.”

India-Pakistan matches have always seen a massive spike in television ratings and have been financially lucrative for governing bodies of both countries. However, Mani denied that money was the concern for the PCB. “Money isn’t the issue, it’s more about the game,” he said.

“There are more viewers for an India-Pakistan match than any other match in the world. So, if the Indian government decides to deprive its own citizens of watching an India-Pakistan match then that is their choice.”

Mani said that the resumption of bilateral series between both countries may act as a catalyst to better relations.

“When we play cricket, especially in our countries – when we go to India or when they come here – helps in increasing people-to-people contact. Indian fans come to Pakistan. Lakhs of fans have come to Pakistan from India and everyone goes back happy.

“There’s no better way to improve the relations between countries than having sporting contacts, cultural contacts. For me, that is far more important than any amount of money that comes into the game.”