The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has refused the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) proposal to host India vs Pakistan bi-lateral 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.
The UK Daily Telegraph reported that “Martin Darlow, the deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has held talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board during the current Twenty20 series and offered England’s grounds as venues for ideally a three-match Test series in future.”
While it is evident that the ECB has made the offer for its own commercial gains, the BCCI officials laughed off the proposals and said that there are no chances that such possibilities might arise at least in the next few years.
Reason behind ECB’s proposal to BCCI
The last time India and Pakistan played a bilateral white-ball series was back in 2012 in India and the last Test series dates back to as far as 2007.
With the prevailing tense political relations between India and Pakistan, it is a big ‘No’ from BCCI irrespective of whether it is played at home, away or in a neutral venue.
The newspaper states precisely the reason why the ECB made the “generous 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.”
However, the paper did make it clear that even “PCB is not keen on playing India at neutral venue but are grateful for the ECB’s offer, which shows the growing relationship between the two boards.”
It stated that with the big nations again starting to tour Pakistan, it will be a “retrograde step in their eyes” if they happen to play in a neutral venue.
India and Pakistan are set to meet in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia on October 23. And as always, it is a much-awaited encounter for fans all over the world.