In­dia, Pak­istan dead­lock con­tin­ues on cricket se­ries

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

DUBAI: The dead­lock over a pro­posed se­ries be­tween arch-ri­vals In­dia and Pak­istan con­tin­ued de­spite a meet­ing be­tween the heads of the two boards in Dubai yes­ter­day, de­scribed as “fruit­ful” but with­out a break­through.

The newly-elected pres­i­dent of the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI) Shashank Manohar, who is in Dubai to fa­mil­iarise with the work­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC), in­vited Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) chair­man Sha­har­yar Khan for a meet­ing at the ICC head­quar­ters.

The meet­ing was also at­tended by PCB Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee head Na­jam Sethi and Giles Clarke, the pres­i­dent of the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Khan said the meet­ing with Manohar had been “fruit­ful.” “We had a fruit­ful meet­ing in which Sethi was there, Clarke was there as fa­cil­i­ta­tor, it was a fruit­ful meet­ing and the de­ci­sion is that Clarke will brief the me­dia tomorrow,” Khan told me­dia.

“We have also de­cided that there will be no fur­ther brief­ing. I am not in a po­si­tion to say more than this.” Ear­lier in the day, Manohar told The Na­tional news­pa­per that In­dia have not re­ceived a re­ply from the PCB on a pro­posal to play the matches in In­dia.

“We want to play in In­dia. That is the thing,” Manohar said. “Presently, we gave an op­tion to Pak­istan ask­ing them whether they will come to In­dia. Pak­istan was to get back to me, they haven’t got back to me. So I don’t know what is the po­si­tion.”

Khan main­tained his team will not travel to In­dia and would play the se­ries in the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE), as agreed un­der the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) signed last year. Khan said a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the se­ries will only be taken by the Pak­istani gov­ern­ment. “The mat­ter is now po­lit­i­cal,” Khan said on Fri­day. “Pak­istan’s prime min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif has di­rected us that any de­ci­sion will now be taken by the gov­ern­ment and not by the PCB.”

Pak­istan and In­dia have not played a bi­lat­eral se­ries since 2007. In­dia stalled crick­et­ing ties in the af­ter­math of 2008 ter­ror­ist at­tacks on Mum­bai, which were blamed on mil­i­tants based in Pak­istan.

Un­der the MoU both the boards had agreed to play six se­ries be­tween 20152023, with four se­ries to be hosted by Pak­istan. But all se­ries were sub­ject to clear­ance from the re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments.

The De­cem­ber-Jan­uary se­ries com­prises two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 in­ter­na­tion­als but with time run­ning out the se­ries could be short­ened to lim­ited over matches. There are re­ports that an­other neu­tral venue-Sri Lanka or Bangladesh-could also be con­sid­ered, if In­dia con­tin­ued to refuse UAE as a venue.

The PCB had hoped that me­di­a­tion by Clarke, also in Dubai to meet Manohar later Sun­day, could help en­sure a break­through on the fate of the se­ries. — AFP

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