Amid speculation over the fate of the proposed India-Pakistan series to be held in the UAE, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur on Thursday indicated that a second round of talks between the cricket boards of the two nations could take place to take the dissuasions forward.
PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan had visited India recently to rally hard for the resumption of Indo-Pak cricket ties. Shaharyar, during a joint press statement with BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya in Kolkata, proposed a series comprising three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s in December but BCCI is certainly not rushing into it.
“Possibility is that in the coming few days or coming weeks, second round of talks will take place,” Thakur said in a press conference.
Thakur, who is also a BJP MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, said the talks between the Boards of the two countries were still in “early stages”.
“The series is yet to be decided, but already the issue cropped up in the Parliament while for some TV channels, it became a matter of debate,” he said.
Seeking to clarify the situation with regards to the series as of now, Thakur said, “I want to say only this, which is that the talks between the Boards of two countries has taken place, which are at early stages. And when talks between two Boards takes place, you limit the talk to just cricket only.
“At Government level, what is their thinking, whether they want (the series to take place) or not, on this no talk has taken place,” Thakur said.
He further said that “there are many things between BCCI and PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) which need to be discussed. PCB Chairman (Shaharyar Khan) visited India and met (BCCI President Jagmohan) Dalmiya and me and kept his view.”
He said that according to Future Tours Programme, the series was be hosted by Pakistan in December.
“Whether it will take place or not, and if it happens, then in which country will it take place since the situation in Pakistan is not conducive, and if the series will be held then how many matches are to be played, these are some things and other issues on which talks are going on,” he said.
Asked to comment that BCCI has reservation of the PCB-Ten Sports broadcasting deal and is not keen on an India-Pakistan series being broadcast by a potential “rival” group, Thakur said “as far as Ten Sports is concerned, the talk is on between BCCI and PCB. There are certain issues related to the Essel Group which are pending in the court, I would not like to comment on that as of now. But the ball is in the PCB court, it is their prerogative”.
When asked is there a possibility in future that India might host Pakistan, he said, “it is the turn of Pakistan to host us.”
Notably, Shaharyar has also extended invitations to key officials of the BCCI and government functionaries to attend a match of the forthcoming series against Zimbabwe in Lahore. Shaharyar had met Thakur in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe are due to tour Pakistan from May 19 to play three ODIs and two T20 matches in Lahore.
Shaharyar has been visiting India since the weekend to meet with key BCCI officials and top government functionaries in a bid to drum up support for the Indo-Pak series in December.
Shaharyar, a former career diplomat who remained high commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi, met with BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya during a visit to Kolkata.