Asia Cup dates rule out India-Pakistan series
The Asian Cricket Council has confirmed that the Asia Cup 2012 will go ahead as scheduled, from March 12 to 22 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, all but ruling out the possibility of Pakistan touring India as outlined in the Future Tours Programme. The decision was taken at the ACC's meeting in Singapore earlier this week; it also endorsed, pending a fuller discussion and satisfaction with security and other issues, a proposal by Pakistan to host the 2014 tournament.
"It was agreed that the Asia Cup 2012 would go ahead on the proposed dates," Subhan Ahmed, the PCB chief operating officer, told ESPNcricinfo. "There was discussion of the ACC postponing the Asia Cup if both India and Pakistan agreed to play their series within that slot but that idea has faded out for many reasons."
The PCB was hoping at the meeting to get some confirmation from the BCCI on the resumption of bilateral series between India and Pakistan but Ahmed said that the BCCI representative, Ratnakar Shetty, was unable to give any assurance in the absence of N Srinivasan, the president of the Indian board.
"Pakistan-India series was not on the agenda at the ACC meeting but we were looking forward to Srinivasan coming across to discuss it," Ahmed said. "We had an ideal platform here to talk with our India counterpart but he [Srinivasan] didn't attend the meeting.
"He [Shetty] was not in a position to talk on it. So I don't think India and Pakistan could play each other in a full series next year but they will meet in the Asia Cup."
Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, was also in Singapore. He was due to travel to Chennai in the first week of December to talk to Srinavasan on the mutual cricketing interests of both countries but the sudden illness of Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, also the PCB's chief patron, forced him to postpone of the visit.
At the ACC meeting, Pakistan also proposed hosting the 2014 Asia Cup. Ahmed said that the other ACC members showed their support and understood how essential the hosting of the event was for the country but asked the PCB to satisfy them on security concerns. "Our request has been endorsed and was not turned down. They want a full discussion on the precautionary steps that the PCB will take to ensure security. We obviously assured them the best and the case has been deferred until next meeting."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent