For the first time since the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack,a prominent cricket team from Pakistan could be invited to play in a tournament in India.
A working committee meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India approved a proposal in Chennai yesterday to extend an invitation to Pakistans domestic T20 champions,Sialkot Stallions,for the Champions League tournament being hosted by India in October. The proposal will be considered by the Leagues governing council on May 28.
BCCI vice-president and Minister of State,Parliamentary Affairs,Rajeev Shukla said that extending the invitation was subject to approval of the Centre.
Since 26/11,bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan remain suspended and the only time the two teams have played each other on Indian soil was when Pakistan lost to India in the semi-final of the World Cup in Mohali last year. Players from Pakistan also participated in the first edition of the Indian Premier League. However,this too had ended following the Mumbai attack.
We all know that a lot depends on the decision of the government rather than decisions between the two cricket boards, a BCCI official said. The BCCI has taken the first step to restore cricket ties between the two countries. The scenario seems positive for the participation of a team from Pakistan.
The push to invite a team from Pakistan reportedly came from representatives of Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa,which are stakeholders in the Champions League along with the BCCI,during a meeting on Thursday. BCCI president N Srinivasan reportedly mooted the proposal during the working committee meeting that followed.
Pointing out that the final call would be taken by the League governing council,he said: The BCCI has no-objection to having a Pakistan team. CLT20 is owned by BCCI,Cricket Australia,and Cricket South Africa. Current Pakistan champions Sialkot Stallions are led by all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
At working committee
* Decided to recommend to CL Governing Council to consider inviting the domestic T20 Champions of Pakistan to participate in the Champions League.
* Ratified the grant of media rights to Star India Pvt. Ltd. for the next six years – 2012 to 2018.
* Approved the nomination of Mr. N. Srinivasan,President,BCCI,as the next President of the Asian Cricket Council,as per rotation.
* Approved the setting up of an Anti-Corruption Unit arm of the BCCI.
* Approved start of a Curator’s Certification Course,with the first batch commencing in July 2012.
* A Special Committee will be set up to look into the suggestions made by the Technical Committee & the Captain and Coaches pertaining to the improvement of Domestic Cricket.
* Also approved a limited number of friendly matches to be played by IPL teams with Associate & Affiliate countries of the ICC,between June and August,subject to guidelines to be framed by the BCCI.