India-Pakistan series uncertain admit Rajeev Shukla, Shaharyar Khan

Senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) functionary Rajeev Shukla on Thursday said that the proposed bilateral series between India and Pakistan in UAE in December is lying in uncertainty although BCCI is committed to resuming cricket ties between the two neighbouring nations.

“Right now, I can’t say anything. There are some issues and these issues have to be sorted out,” Shukla said. “Once these issues are sorted out then only we can think about it. Our policy is that bilateral matches should be played in each other’s soil. Still that’s our focus. For these, we need to take the permission of the government also because the security issues are also there,” he said.

For their part, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had written a letter last month asking BCCI to adhere to its word of playing six bilateral series between 2015 and 2022 in accordance with the Future Tours Program (FTP). PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said that it did not matter if the planned India-Pakistan bilateral series this year did not materialise, as the two teams had not played in so many years. “It does not matter whether we play India or not, as no series has taken place in so many years,” Shahryar said.

Shahryar also denied that he had asked former Test captain Zaheer Abbas to use his influence as the President of the ICC to speak to the Indian board and convince them for the series. “Zaheer has gone to India in his capacity as ICC president and not as a messenger of PCB. We have not asked for Zaheer’s help for the revival of Pakistan-India series. He has gone to India as ICC president but he will inform us about the updates of the series on his return,” he said.

The PCB chief admitted that there are 50 per cent chances of the revival of Pakistan-India series, which is scheduled to be held in December in the UAE.

“The BCCI has said that they are ready to play a series with Pakistan but they are yet to get a green signal from the new government,” he said. “We are trying our level best to get a positive reply.”

Shaharyar also said that the PCB was trying to invite associate teams, who have qualified for the T20 WC to tour Pakistan before they go to India. “We are in talks with Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong and Oman to tour Pakistan and I am positive they will visit here,” he said.