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Pak will survive without playing India, says PCB chief Khan

PCB chief Shahryar Khan on Tuesday said not playing India is a “setback” but Pakistan will continue to survive in case the BCCI backs out of the bilateral cricket series slated to be held in the UAE in December.

The PCB and BCCI have signed <g data-gr-id="64">an MoU</g> to play six series between 2015 and 2023. <g data-gr-id="63">However</g> PCB is yet to get the Indian board’s response on its letter last week, asking them to honour the ‘binding agreement’.

Asked whether he sees the arch-rivals resuming on field ties in December, Khan told <g data-gr-id="70">PTI :</g> “Well, it depends on your government. Your board has signed an agreement with us that we will play in December. They said we will have to get permission from the government. 

We have written to the BCCI, asking <g data-gr-id="69">them</g> honour the agreement. We are not running after them. We are just saying you have signed something so please honour your signature.”

The PCB has often been criticised at home for reaching out to BCCI time and again for <g data-gr-id="61">resumption</g> of ties. The great Javed Miandad went on to say that PCB must not play India at the cost of self-respect.
Reiterating that politics and sports should not be mixed, Khan made it clear that Pakistan will survive irrespective of the future of the high-voltage series.

“Suppose for political reasons, the Indian government decides against playing Pakistan, it doesn’t mean we will go bankrupt. We will survive. If we have survived without India-Pakistan cricket for the last so many years, we will continue to survive. Yes, it will be a setback but that is about it,” said the 81-year-old candidly.

Like in the past, the Indian government will have a final say on the popular matter but going by the recent tweet of BCCI secretary and BJP MP Anurag Thakur, it doesn’t make the fans on either of the side of border any more hopeful.

“We have nothing to do with Dawood Ibrahim. Our government has made it clear time and again that he is not in Pakistan. It is a part of political ups and downs. Cricket is one way we can build up better relations,” said Khan when asked about Thakur’s controversial tweet last month.

“Dawood in Karachi. NSA wants to meet separatists here.
Are you really serious about peace and you expect we’ll play cricket with you?” Thakur had posted.
Khan said that there can’t be a deadline on Indo-Pak cricketing matters as most decisions are taken in <g data-gr-id="62">11th</g> hour, but he is hoping for a positive response from BCCI and the Indian government.

“The Pakistan government is in favour of cricketing ties with India. It is time for the Indian government to take a stand.

“Politics and cricket should be kept aside. There will always be ups and downs in India-Pakistan ties. We also came and played on your soil in 1999 when the atmosphere was tense, the public gave huge support to us, wherever we went.

“Then you came here after a long break in 2004. I have written to Jagmohan Dalmiya that you made it happen then (2004), you can make it happen now. In fact, cricket led to improvement in the relations between the two countries.

“The India-Pakistan series is the most watched event in the sporting world. You can’t deprive the <g data-gr-id="59">fans from</g> both sides from watching their cricketers,” said Khan. 
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