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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BCCI to discuss Pakistan series next month

KARACHI: While the Pakistan Cricket Board`s (PCB) officials are itching to finalise the terms for a scheduled series with India, their counterparts will not make a hasty decision, according to a top BCCI official.
According to the International Cricket Council`s (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP), Pakistan and India are tied to play a series including three Tests and five One-Day Internationals (ODI) in March-April next year. But the fate of the series hangs in mid-air due to the uncertainty of relations between the two countries.
The archrivals have not played a series since 2007-08 due to strained relations between the two countries in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.
However, the prospect of the revival of cricketing ties emerged with the new FTP and during the ICC annual conference in Hong Kong last month when the PCB and BCCI officials met on the sidelines.
The PCB, which is facing a financial crisis as a result of a drought of international cricket in the country and suspension of cricketing ties with India, is eager to finalise the schedule immediately amid queries on who will host the series. The PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed on his return from the ICC meeting said the PCB will make efforts to finalise the next year’s series as soon as possible.
However, the BCCI seemed reluctant about finalising the series while officials refuse to comment on the matter before their meeting next month.
“We will discuss about the Pakistan series in our meeting next month,” the BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla told Our Sources. “The series is on our agenda and we will make the final decision after assessing the pros and cons in our meeting. The series is scheduled for next year and there is still a lot of time left in the series.”
Reports on government influence dismissed
The official, however on a positive note, dismissed reports that the BCCI has received a negative response from the Indian government on playing a series with Pakistan.
“We’re yet to receive the government’s response,” said Shukla. “We’ll finalise things first and then seek permission from the government. There is no truth on such reports.”
The Pakistan Task Force, which recently submitted a detailed report on the future of the game in the country, has termed the series as vital for fans all over the world.

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