Conceding that time is running out for the proposed Indo-Pak bilateral cricket series to take place, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said the Board is still waiting for the government approval before taking any decision. India are set to leave for their Australia tour on January 5, which leaves little time for the high-profile series to take place. “Media were hoping that Sushma Swaraj’s visit will decide the fate of the cricket series. But when it comes to relations between countries a lot is at stake and many things are taken into consideration before coming to a definite conclusion”, Thakur said.
“Whenever the Indian government will take a decision on this we will let you know,” Thakur told reporters at the sidelines of the signing of an MoU between the Afghanistan Cricket Board and the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority. “It is their [PCB] call what is a comfortable time to host the series. We leave for Australia on the 5th of January and after a long series with South Africa it is every important to give the players 4-5 days rest. So, ideally if you have to fly on 5th you be free by 30th [of December],” he added.
According to an MoU signed between the two nations, the PCB was supposed to host India in December for a bilateral series, but a series of flip flops from the two boards has resulted in confusion. Thakur, though, insisted that BCCI has been clear on government approval from the very start. “I must set the record straight for everyone’s benefit that in April 2014 BCCI’s ex-boss had signed an agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board while bringing a few changes to the constitution of ICC. According to which if resolutions take place in the ICC constitution then India will play against Pakistan in this period for the next eight years.”
“And according to that agreement, the PCB was supposed to host India on a neutral venue in the month of December. PCB chairman and BCCI President met in Dubai and decided that we will play a series in Sri Lanka and both the Cricket Board’s will seek permission from their respective government’s for political clearance. BCCI wrote a letter to the Indian government, because Indo-Pak relations are always like this and this is not the first time that the series is on hold like this. If you look at the last 30 years then many a time an Indo-Pak series has happened and stopped. And a lot has depended on the relations between the two countries,” he said.