Pakistan ready to host India in Dec: PCB chief
Batting for the resumption of Indo-Pak cricketing ties, PCB chief Shaharyar Khan today said that Pakistan are ready to host a series in the UAE in December.
The series, which will involve three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s, is part of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed between the two boards in 2014 and Shaharyar is keen to abide by it.
“We resume the India-Pak series in UAE. This is the re-beginning of the revival of Indo-Pak cricket. The series will start in December as per schedule and it will comprise three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s. The preparation is on in full swing. We have to overcome the final hurdle,” Shaharyar told reporters after meeting BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, here.
Thanking his Indian counterpart for playing a pro-active role in trying to resume the most sought-after rivalry in world cricket,
Shaharyar said his association with Dalmiya goes back a long way.
“I am really grateful to Dalmiya for hosting me here I am glad that we could start the process again. You may know as per the MOU there will be 5 series between the two countries in 8 years,” he said.
“I am thankful to Dalmiya. I come here personally to convey my heartiest congratulations to Jagmohan Dalmiya for becoming the BCCI President. My relationship with Dalmiya goes back a long way when he was the BCCI chief and I was PCB chief and we had hosted the 2004 Indo-Pak series. All this was made possible due to the effort of Dalmiya,” he added.
Dalmiya, who also addressed the joint press-conference after a thirty minute meeting with Shaharyar, sounded hopeful about the resumption of ties but put the ball in the government’s court.
“We are very hopeful of reviving the series. Only few things need to be sorted out and obviously without common support we cannot go forward. Without the support of the home ministry and government we can’t go forward,” said Dalmiya.
Shaharyar said that an India-Pakistan contest is bigger than the Ashes.
“Let me tell you the India-Pak series is more important than any series in world cricket, It is even more important than the Ashes,” he said.
“During the India-Pakistan World Cup clash in Adelaide, the tickets were sold out within 20 minutes, such is the craze of this series,” he added.
Shaharyar also informed that even Bangladesh is keen to play host to an Indo-Pak tie.
“I recently came from Bangladesh and BCB officials also said that why dont you host the series here. They have also put forward their interest to hold India-Pak tie.”
Since 2007, the BCCI has not played a proper bilateral Test series with Pakistan due to political and other reasons, particularly after the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
India suspended all series with Pakistan after the terrorist attacks.
The two countries played one short series of three ODIs and two T20 matches in India in December 2012 but otherwise they have met only in ICC organised events or the Asia Cup.