Pakistan news December 14, 2009

Pakistan keen on playing 'home' series in India

Cricinfo staff
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The cash-strapped Pakistan Cricket Board is exploring the possibility of playing its 'home' series in India, if the BCCI and the Indian government approve of the notion. The PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said that if the BCCI is willing to reschedule the tour of Pakistan, which was cancelled in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks last November, Pakistan won't mind playing that series in India.

"We are playing our 'home' Test series in New Zealand right now, we can plan a 'home' Test series in India as well, provided the Indians show interest," Butt told PTI. "If India is willing to reschedule that series or part of that series in India, it is something we would like to discuss with them. We just need to find a window next year for such a series which would I am sure be a big draw."

The BCCI, however, has ruled out a resumption of bilateral matches with Pakistan in the near future because of India's packed schedule for 2010. It added that it will take a call on the issue only late next year, provided the government gives the go-ahead. The PCB is looking for ways to recover the US$47 million loss from the cancelled series against India, and has already reached an agreement with the ECB to play a two-Test series against Australia in England next summer.

"We are definitely keen on playing a bilateral series with India as soon as possible and it is something we have been discussing at all levels with our government, with their board officials and with the ICC," Butt said.

The PCB has been hit by several pull-outs over the last couple of years, due to security fears and the unstable political climate. It hit its biggest crisis back in March when the Sri Lankan team was caught in the middle of the Lahore attacks, an event which led to Pakistan being stripped of all its World Cup matches for 2011.

Their players weren't allowed to take part in the 2009 IPL and the uncertainty over their participation in 2010 continues. Non-contracted players are eligible for the auction, but those who had their contracts suspended by the franchises can play only if their owners decide to drop other foreign players to accommodate them.