Pakistan not ready to play in India: PCB chairman
Pakistan’s cricket chief Shaharyar Khan on Saturday ruled out any chance of sending his national team to India after his counterpart offered to play a proposed series there, arguing that the current atmosphere would not allow that to happen.
Pakistan and India are due to play a series of two Tests, five one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals in December-January, the first of six that the arch rivals agreed to play under a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year — all subject to clearance from the respective governments.
But the current strained political situation with regular cease-fire violations from both sides and cancelation of talks between the security advisers of the two countries in August leaves the series in serious doubt.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Khan led a delegation to India earlier this month to discuss the possibility of the tour but the talks were canceled after Shiv Sena activists attacked the office of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), protesting against talks with Pakistan.
Khan said BCCI has offered to play the series in India.
“BCCI chief Shashank Manohar telephoned me on Friday and has offered to play the matches in India, but the current situation is not conducive to send the Pakistan team there,” Khan told media.
“Our artists were not accepted in India and there was an incident of protest against our former foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri so we have asked them to send any proposal in writting,” said Khan, himself a former foreign secretary.
India stalled bilateral cricket with Pakistan in the wake of terrorists attacks on Mumbai in 2008, which New Delhi blamed on militants based across the border.
The arch rivals have not played a full series since 2007 and although Pakistan visited India in late 2012 for a short limited over series that failed to pave the revival of the ties.
Khan said the BCCI chief has assured him of providing safe venues, but he would still like the series to be played at neutral venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Manohar clarified that the matches would be hosted in cities where there were no security concerns but according to our initial agreement the series was scheduled to take place in UAE and we should abide by that,” Khan said.
“They have offered to discuss the possibility of compensating us for any financial losses. But before we even consider touring India, we would need the permission of the government.”
Pakistan is expecting a revenue of $50 million (five billion rupees) from the series in UAE.