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India, Pakistan agree to play bilateral series in ‘neutral’ Sri Lanka

After months of uncertainty, India have agreed to play a short bilateral series with Pakistan in ‘neutral’ Sri Lanka. The arch-rivals will play three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals from December 15.

The confirmation of the series was announced on Thursday after the Pakistan Cricket Board and Board of Control for Cricket in India obtained green signal from their respective governments.

Giles Clarke of the England and Wales Cricket Board is said to have played mediator in the conflict.

IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla on Thursday pushed for resumption of cricket ties between India and Pakistan, saying the game should not be brought into political controversies. BCCI is awaiting response from the Indian government on the fate of a much-talked-about series next month while Pakistan Cricket Board has got the clearance from their government.

“I am optimistic that the government will give the go-ahead to us. Both the parties (Boards) have agreed for Sri Lanka as a venue. The whole idea is to resume cricket between the two countries,” Shukla said.

Asked about voices that oppose the resumption of cricket ties, Shukla said cricket should be kept separate from politics.

“From day 1 I have been maintaining that cricket should not be brought into political controversy. Even the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee government had given the nod in worse situation for resumption of cricket. We had sent the Indian team to Pakistan. I think, we should play Pakistan,” Shukla said.

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