India news July 27, 2015

Political tension puts India-Pakistan series in doubt

ESPNcricinfo staff

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No good relations, no good cricket - Anurag Thakur

Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, has said that any bilateral series between India and Pakistan was unlikely until the political relationship between the two countries was stable.

Thakur was speaking on Monday soon after a gunfight in the Gurdaspur district in Punjab - close to India's border with Pakistan - led to several civilian casualties. Though security agencies in India were yet to determine who was responsible for the attack, Thakur, who is also a Member of Parliament from India's ruling BJP, cited the incident as an example of why he believed the time was not right for a cricket series with Pakistan.

"Even today there is a terrorist attack, in Gurdaspur. On one hand there is a rise in terrorist activity from Pakistan, on the other you can't expect to play a cricket series with Pakistan," Thakur told ESPNcricinfo. "For me the safety and security of my countrymen is more important than a cricket series. This is not the way to go ahead. I was never against the dialogue process. At the same time, if you do not have good relations, you can't have good cricket."

Last month the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, while visiting India, had said Pakistan had a "Plan B" should the series not go ahead. "We know there is always such a possibility when it comes to Indo-Pak relations but we think the situation will be clear in two months time," Shaharyar had said. "We have a plan B in case the series (against India) cannot be held but I can't share the details of that now. If such a situation is created we can call alternative teams."

India have not played a bilateral Test series against Pakistan since 2007, though they did host them for two T20Is and three ODIs between December 2012 and January 2013.

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