BCCI seeks govt clearance on Pakistan series
The BCCI has formally sought the clearance of the central government to play Pakistan in Sri Lanka in December, its secretary Anurag Thakur confirmed.
The ball is now in the court of respective governments of India and Pakistan with both BCCI and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) waiting for political clearance for the series next month. “Yesterday, I have written a letter to the Foreign Ministry seeking clearance to play with Pakistan in Sri Lanka,” said Thakur. “According to the agreement of India and Pakistan, both teams were supposed to play in UAE or at any other neutral venue if the conditions in Pakistan were not suitable. It is up to Pakistan as to where they want to play. After discussions with BCCI and PCB, both countries have decided to play in Sri Lanka,” he added.
PCB too is waiting for the government nod and its chief Shahryar Khan expects Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take the decision soon. “It is very much in the hands of the government. I personally don’t know how much time it will take for the clearance. The Prime Minister is travelling at the moment, so he will take a decision soon after coming back. We will just have to wait,” Shahryar told PTI. With only a month’s window available after India finish their Test Series against South Africa on December 7, the series is likely to be confined to three ODIs and two T20 Internationals instead of the original five ODIs, two Tests and as many T20s.
Sri Lanka emerged as the host for the series between arch-rivals after India refused to play in UAE. The proceedings had been fast-tracked once BCCI president and current ICC chairman Shashank Manohar met PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and senior official Najam Sethi in presence of ECB supremo Giles Clarke, who is likely to make the series announcement on Friday.