Pakistan-India Cricket series likely to happen from Dec 15: reports

After a series of deliberations, the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) and the PCB have reportedly agreed on Sri Lanka as possible venue.

IPL Chairman and BCCI functionary Rajeev Shukla on Thursday, November 26, revealed that the much-anticipated India-Pakistan series is likely to happen from December 15 in Sri Lanka.

According to Pakistani media reports, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reportedly given the approval for Pakistan-India limited-over series proposed to be played in Sri Lanka.

Shukla’s comment came hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave his approval to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to send the national team to Sri Lanka.

“I am optimistic that the government will give the go-ahead to us. Both the parties (Boards) have agreed for Sri Lanka as a venue. The whole idea is to resume cricket between the two countries,” Shukla said.

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The series will comprise three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s.

Asked about voices that oppose the resumption of cricket ties, Shukla said cricket should be kept separate from politics.

“From day 1 I have been maintaining that cricket should not be brought into political controversy. Even the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee government had given the nod in worse situation for resumption of cricket. We had sent the Indian team to Pakistan. I think, we should play Pakistan,” Shukla told a news channel.

Sri Lanka was agreed upon as the neutral venue by the two boards after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) proposed it in a meeting between its president Shashank Manohar and PCB president Shahryar Khan earlier this week in Dubai.

India had refused to play in the UAE and PCB chairman turned down BCCI’s offer to send the Pakistan team to India.

The final step towards the series coming to fruition will be clearance from the Government of India, which the BCCI still awaits.

The two neighbours haven’t played each other in a full bilateral series since 2007 when Pakistan toured India, though Pakistan did visit India in 2012 for a limited-overs series.

The Manohar-Shahryar meeting in Dubai on Sunday was mediated by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) president Giles Clarke, with Najam Sethi also in attendance.
With only a month’s window available between India’s last home Test against South Africa, which is scheduled to end December 7, and the first ODI in Australia on January 12, the Indo-Pak series will be a limited-overs affair.

The two boards had signed an MoU during N Srinivasan’s regime in the BCCI, according to which the two teams will play six bilateral series over eight years.

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