Govt set to re­ject Indo-Pak se­ries

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Jasvin­der Sidhu jasvin­der.sidhu@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Cricket fans may have to wait a while longer for In­dia and Pak­istan to re­sume their famed ri­valry. The NDA gov­ern­ment is be­lieved to have sig­nalled to the cricket board that it is not in favour of play­ing with the neigh­bour as of now, even at a neu­tral venue like Sri Lanka.

“The gov­ern­ment has given us an in­di­ca­tion that pub­lic sen­ti­ment at the mo­ment is against Pak­istan, which is in­volved in anti-In­dia ac­tiv­i­ties. Also, there’s only a few days left for the pro­posed se­ries (lat­ter half of De­cem­ber). If the gov­ern­ment wanted us to play, we would have got clear­ance a long time ago. So, I don’t think this se­ries is hap­pen­ing,” a top of­fi­cial at the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia told HT on Thurs­day. An ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry spokesper­son, when asked about the re­quest pend­ing with the min­istry, said, “We are yet to take a de­ci­sion.”

The BCCI sec­re­tary Anurag Thakur echoed this, say­ing the board had not re­ceived any of­fi­cial word from the gov­ern­ment. The gov­ern­ment is also be­lieved to have dis­ap­proved of the pub­lic state­ments made by some BCCI of­fi­cials. Board sources said IPL chief and Congress MP Ra­jeev Shukla’s re­marks, that sports and pol­i­tics should not be mixed, did not go down well with the Cen­tre. Shukla ques­tioned why cricket was be­ing tar­geted when In­dia con­tin­ued to play hockey with Pak­istan.

CON­TIN­UED ON P15

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