BCCI not entirely ruling out series with Pakistan, PCB feels chances slim

Updated: 09 Nov 2015 09:46 PM
Mumbai/Karachi: The BCCI has not yet totally ruled out the series against Pakistan next month even as uncertainty continues on the issue.

Asked if the Board has planned a series in December since the Indian team will not be engaged in that period, BCCI President Shashank Manohar said all would depend on decision on series against Pakistan.

"Depending on what happens to series against Pakistan, we have to take a call," Manohar said, leaving the matter for interpretation that series was not yet completely ruled out.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan on Monday said that he's still waiting for his Indian counterpart to contact him regarding the proposed bilateral series in the UAE in December.

"We are expecting some response from the Indian Board today or tomorrow after their Annual General Body Meeting," Khan said.

He said that the ball was now in the court of the BCCI and its president Shashank Manohar will now contact him regarding the matter.

"We did our best, now it is in their hands. But as time runs out, obviously chances of the series being held are very slim," he said.

The Indian team finishes the Test series against South Africa on December 7 and is scheduled to go to Australia for a limited overs series in January, leaving a small window open for the BCCI to squeeze in another home series.

As per the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Programme, Pakistan were to host India but the vehement protest by Shiv Sena derailed the scheduled talks on the issue between Manohar and PCB chief Shahrayar Khan. Sena workers had barged into the BCCI office, protesting against engaging in a series against Pakistan when the neighbouring country was violating ceasefire agreement between the two countries and killing Indian soldiers by shelling across the border, primarily in Jammu and Kashmir.

Manohar also said in the media conference after the BCCI's 86th AGM that the series will also depend on getting clearance from the Indian government. "We need government permission to play against Pakistan and Board decision will be as per the government stand," Manohar said.

PCB's Shaharyar Khan remarked on this issue:"We have made it clear we want to play the series as per the memorandum of understanding signed with the BCCI. The Indian Board last told us they were waiting for clearance from their government which was busy in the elections. Let us see what happens now," he added.

Khan said the Indian Board had conveyed to the PCB that they were ready to play the series but were waiting for clearance from the government.

"I know there are lot of people even in India who want the series to happen but we have done our part now I would like the BCCI President Shashank Manohar to contact me himself," Khan said.

The PCB chief also said that the ouster of Narayanaswami Srinivasan as the International Cricket Council Chairman would have no bearing on the MOU signed between the two Boards.

"Srinivasan also signed on the MOU between the Pakistan and Indian Boards as he was ICC chief but even if he is no longer there the MOU has to be honoured by India," Khan added. He said the more time the Indian Board takes to convey a final decision on the series the more it becomes difficult for Pakistan.

"One thing is clear if their government does not allow them to play the series, then I don't think our government would encourage us to go to India for any event," Khan, a former diplomat, said.