The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) has turned down the England and Wales Cricket Board’s informal proposal of hosting India vs Pakistan test series in England.
Sources close to BCCI said the chances of Indo-Pak bilateral series in the near future are “next to nil”.
“Firstly, ECB spoke to PCB about an Indo-Pak series and that’s a bit weird. In any case, a series against Pakistan is not something that the BCCI will decide but it is the decision of the government. As of now, the stance remains the same. We only play Pakistan at multi-team events,” a senior BCCI official privy to India’s position told PTI on Tuesday.
With the exception of multi-team tournaments, India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series in any format since January 2013, and their previous Test match was in December 2007.
Earlier today, Martin Darlow, the ECB’s deputy chair, approached PCB head Ramiz Raja about hosting an India-Pakistan test series in England on his visit to Pakistan for England’s upcoming T20 international series.
Analysts see it as the ECB’s attempt to patch fences with the PCB following England’s last-minute withdrawal from a scheduled two-match series in Pakistan last year.
The UK daily Telegraph stated the precise reason why the ECB made the offer. “The matches would attract big crowds in the UK, which has a large ex-pat south Asian population,” it said. “The matches attract huge sponsorship revenue and television audiences.”
Pakistan Cricket Board and former Pakistani players have long held an olive branch and expressed their desire to organise a bilateral series between India and Pakistan.
However, BCCI is not keen on having a cricketing relationship with PCB owing to the stance of the Indian government toward Pakistan, holding Islamabad responsible for providing safe havens to India-centric terrorists.
Iceland Cricket Trolls ECB’s Offer
Iceland Cricket’s Twitter account poked fun at England Cricket Board after the latter offered to be a neutral host for future Pakistan-India Test series so that the two nations can look forward to playing bilateral cricket for the first time in over 15 years.
“We hear @ECB_cricket have offered to host a Test series between India and Pakistan. We officially announce to @ICC that we are also offering to do the same & can provide near 24 hour daylight in June and July, as well as better Tweets covering the matches. Sniper security too,” Iceland Cricket tweeted.