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July 5, 2012
Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai has said the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral cricket ties is dependent on the BCCI and the PCB. Speaking after a meeting with Pakistan foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Thursday, Mathai said the joint statement issued by the officials after their meeting emphasised the need for the two countries to engage in sporting activities.
"The resumption of cricketing ties, this is a matter between the BCCI and the PCB," Mathai was quoted as saying by PTI. "As you will see in the joint statement, we have emphasised the need to promote sports between the two countries."
Jilani confirmed that cricket had come up for discussion during the meeting. "I had a discussion on the revival of cricket ties between the two countries," he said.
Bilateral ties between India and Pakistan have been severed since the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. 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. After the last of those meetings, on the sidelines of the ICC's annual conference in June, Ashraf had said Pakistan were ready for progress on the series but Srinivasan said he would only be able to commit after checking with Indian authorities.
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.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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