PCB chief Shahryar Khan said on Wednesday hopes of the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan with a short series later this month are “dying” with too little time left to organise the big ticket event.
He had earlier reported that cricket fans may have to wait a while longer for India and Pakistan to resume their famed rivalry. The NDA government is believed to have signalled to the cricket board that it is not in favour of playing with the neighbour as of now, even at a neutral venue like Sri Lanka.
Khan said the Islamabad visit of Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj did not help, virtually hinting that the proposed series in Sri Lanka may not take place at all.
“We were hopeful that Sushma Swaraj’s visit will make things better but it did not happen.
“We wanted to play, but India did not respond positively. It is already too late to organise the series and we don’t have time for the series anyway,” he said, referring to the proposed series wherein the teams were expected to play three ODIs and T20 Internationals.
“We will decide our future plan after analysing our options under legal aspects and consultation,” he said.
“The government has given us an indication that public sentiment at the moment is against Pakistan, which is involved in anti-India activities. Also, there’s only a few days left for the proposed series (latter half of December). If the government wanted us to play, we would have got clearance a long time ago. So, I don’t think this series is happening,” a top official at the Board of Control for Cricket in India recently.
The series was to be played as part of an MoU agreement between the two boards to hold six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. After several rounds of discussion and various venue possibilities, Sri Lanka had emerged the choice while there was also talk of a Test series in England sometime next year.
But cricketing ties between the neighbours have always been intrinsically linked with the bilateral relationship. The Lanka series seemed like the best bet to revive them since they were suspended after the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes. Now, it doesn’t look that simple.