India news July 16, 2012

India to host Pakistan for ODI series in December-January

ESPNcricinfo staff

India and Pakistan will resume bilateral ties with a "short series", comprising three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals, in December and January. The matches will be held between the Test and one-day legs of England's tour of India and will form the first bilateral series between the two sides since Pakistan toured India in end-2007.

The decision was taken by the BCCI at its working committee meeting on Monday. Rajiv Shukla, a senior BCCI official, said the plan was to hold the three ODIs in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata, and the Twenty20 matches in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

"The BCCI was firm that no India-Pakistan series will be held at a neutral venue so it was decided to invite them [Pakistan] after December 22 when the England team leaves after playing the Twenty20 Internationals," Shukla said.

"This was the slot where the tour could have been accommodated and we did that accordingly. I have spoken to the home minister and he has said his ministry has no objection. The Ministry of External Affairs [India's foreign ministry] has also agreed to this tour."

Bilateral cricketing ties were snapped following the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, though the two countries have played each other in the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Asia Cup.

The decision comes after prolonged, high-level consultations between officials of the two boards and, latterly, of the two governments. BCCI president N Srinivasan and PCB chief Zaka Ashraf have held several discussions this year regarding resumption of ties, with Pakistan hoping to fit in a series at the end of the year, during the Christmas break in England's tour of India.

"It's a positive move by the BCCI," Ashraf told reporters at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. "It's been six months since I have been discussing with the BCCI about the possible revival of ties and the final breakthrough came during the IPL final. Ultimately, we have received the invite from the BCCI and now we will sit to discuss the modalities of the series."

It is Pakistan's turn to host a bilateral series between the two. But there has been no international cricket in the country between Full Members since the March 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus and it is understood that India are not keen to play at a neutral venue, as has been the case with all Pakistan's 'home' series since the attack. Subsequently, Ashraf said India had the prerogative to decide on the dates and host the series, but the PCB would want the BCCI to share revenue because the PCB has apparently not yet recovered from the financial loss suffered when India pulled out of their planned tour in 2009.

The news is another step forward in both boards' efforts to improve cricketing relations after the Champions League T20 governing council's approval of the inclusion of the Sialkot Stallions in this year's tournament, to be held in October. Sialkot will be the first domestic team from Pakistan to take part in the event. "The CLT20 is owned by the BCCI, Cricket Australia, and Cricket South Africa, so we will recommend to the governing council that the BCCI has no objection and is prepared to invite a Pakistan team," Srinivasan said at the time.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zulfiqar on July 19, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    If there is no DRS ?????? a nightmare for Pakistan . India can win easily without DRS. BCCI know that.

  • Shiv on July 18, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    @babu_bhaiya - Truth hurts, doesnt it.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    its ok to all my indian frndz it really doesnt matter how much hectic schedule india have but some (always) oppose pak mentality level people in india have over hyped this

  • Manesh on July 18, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    ha ha ha Indian cricket do not have excitement without Pak series! what a joke! Pak fans still not able to accept that it is a help from BCCI to PCB to pay their dues...funny.

  • narsimha on July 18, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    kiwirocker - get well , i believe u r in need of a good doctor.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I don't have a problem with playing Pakistan, but I am not at all happy with the timing of the series. Just after having played England in 4 tests, our players should be given some rest before the one day series stars.

    It is ridiculous to insert a one day series against Pakistan, when they should resting and preparing for the one day series against. Its again diluting the value of one day cricket. In any case I do not care much for T20, I feel it should be restricted to Club/Domestic Level and only played internationally for World T20.

    But this will 50 over cricket. In a matter of a month India would have played 8 ODIS and 3 T20. The Indian team did not play so many matches in such a short span even during the world cup. Would the Indian spectators want to watch India England ODIs 2 days after watching India PaK?

  • Anupam on July 18, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    haha old tactics by pak their main purpose & target is too play IPL. this series is the pre platform of IPL. no test only ODIs. remember Azhar mahmood he took the UK citizenship for playing in IPL.

  • Daniel on July 18, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    It is great to see the tentative resumption of cricketing ties between the 2 countries. It has been one of those unfortunate situations where millions of fans have hoped for this, yet at the same time it is totally understandable that personal safety comes first, at the end of the day cricket is only a game. For those who have brought about this unfortunate situation, just read all the excited comments from the Pakistanis and think about the loss they have suffered to date because of your actions. We should also give huge credit to the BCCI. Let's face it, Indian cricket and the BCCI dont need Pakistan cricket or the PCB in any capacity, they are doing this as goodwill to Pakistan and to give the fans what they want to see. Lets give credit where it is due.

  • Rahul on July 17, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    If yunus khan is better than Sachin then I think zaheer khan is better than the great wasim akram

  • Cool on July 17, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    @babu_bhaiya : Yes, but nobody in the world except the Pakistanis will call Younis and Yousuf "great" or put them in the same category as Sachin and Dravid - they are both good, but hardly great. Sachin and Dravid play much greater number of innings of substance and class, and are not accumulators at number 4 and 5 like Younis and Yousuf.

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