The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan has said that the PCB has been working on a back up plan if India refuses to play the bilateral series in the United Arab Emirates in December.
Shaharyar said from London on Geo Super channel that he remained hopeful that eventually the series would go ahead as planned despite the ongoing tensions between the two countries.
“I am hopeful but yes we have started working on a back up plan which I can’t disclose right now…we have spoken to some boards…incase the series does not take place in December. And we can’t afford to leave this window unused,” Khan said.
The former career diplomat said that he had been touch with Indian authorities and the Pakistan government but admitted the response from the Indians had been slow and slack. “It is a our “home” series and the first of the six series MOU we have with the Indian board. If it does not take place than I don’t know what will be the future of this MOU,” he said.
The Pakistan and Indian boards had signed the MOU last year when the International Cricket Council underwent drastic governance changes with the big three, India, Australia and England taking charge of the ICC affairs.
The MOU was also supposed to be a trade off for Pakistan not resisting the election of former Indian board President Srinivasan as the Chairman of the ICC despite the IPL corruption scandal. Khan said that at the moment the series was still on but the PCB had kept a period of two months to allow the Indian board to finalise its plans.
“After two months it will become even difficult for us to prepare for the December series so we have to be prepared.” Khan said despite the negative statements coming from India in recent days after the Gurdaspur terrorist attack and more skirmishes on the LOC he still believed that sports and politics needed to be kept apart.
“Our stance is clear cricket must be played between Pakistan and India despite the political conditions at a given time. In 1999, I was manager when we went to India to play a full series even though Indo-Pak relations at that time were tense,” Khan who remained stationed in New Delhi as Pakistan’s high commissioner during his diplomatic career said. Khan saluted the Pakistan team and cricket for its spirit in producing good results despite the difficult conditions it had faced in the last many years.
“We have faced so many problems and yet we remain a top team and there is no doubt it is important for us and world cricket that Pakistan and India resume bilateral ties in December but we can only do our best not more than that,” he noted.