The Pakistan cricket team may finally tour India later this year. It is reliably learnt that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be seeking the Centre’s approval after Diwali.
The board is keen to host five ODIs and two T20 international games with Pakistan in December, a window that the BCCI allocated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in an MoU between the two boards last year.
Under the arrangement, India and Pakistan are to play multiple bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. Four of these series will be hosted by Pakistan. It will comprise six tours which include 14 Tests, 30 ODIs and 12 T20s. Pakistan last toured India in 2012-13.
Discussions between the two boards were disrupted by the Shiv Sena which stormed the BCCI office in Mumbai last month — PCB chief Shahryar Khan was supposed to hold a meeting with Indian board president Shashank Manohar.
Following the annual general meeting on Monday, Manohar was asked whether the Pakistan series could happen in December. “To play against Pakistan, we need to get the government’s permission. So we need to speak to the government and whatever decision the government takes, the BCCI will decide accordingly,” he was quoted as saying.
Top BCCI officials said talks have already begun with the government and another series of talks will take place after Diwali. It is learnt that BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, BJP MP from Hamirpur, will be approaching the Union Home Ministry soon to get a confirmation.
“We want cricketing ties to happen, we don’t want politics to hamper cricket. We will be going with a few proposals. One, where we can have five ODIs and two T20s. In the second proposal, we can have three ODIs and two T20s. All these games will be played in those parts of the country where we feel there will be no disturbance from political parties,” a top BCCI official told The Indian Express.
India is currently playing a four-Test series with South Africa at home and the fourth Test will be played in Delhi from December 3-7. The next tour for India will be to Australia in January where they play five ODIs and three T20s from January 12 onward.
Meanwhile, at the board’s AGM, it was decided that Manohar will be the BCCI representative at the ICC. In his absence, Sharad Pawar will represent BCCI as an alternate. The board appointed retired Justice A P Shah as the Ombudsman who will decide on complaints regarding conflict of interest.
Senior selector Roger Binny had to make way for MSK Prasad — the conflict of interest came in because his son is part of the Indian team. Ravi Shastri was not included in the IPL governing council since he also serves as the Indian team director. Anil Kumble, who is part of the Mumbai Indians, had to make way for Sourav Ganguly as chairman of the technical committee.
Rajeev Shukla will remain IPL chairman. The board approved Pune, Rajkot, Dharamsala, Visakhapatnam, Indore and Ranchi as venues for Test matches.