Pakistan news June 5, 2012

PCB chief meets politicians to discuss India series

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Following PCB chief Zaka Ashraf's trip to India last week where he met several Indian leaders, he discussed the possibility of a bilateral series between the two countries with senior politicians in Pakistan.

In India, Ashraf had met with BCCI officials and also outgoing Pakistan ambassador Shahid Malik, and political leaders like Sharad Pawar, who is also the ICC president, Arun Jaitley, a leading opposition party leader and senior BCCI functionary, and Rajiv Shukla, the IPL chairman who is seen as being close to the Congress party which heads the ruling coalition.

"They all (Indian leaders) supported our positive intention to build up a relationship and revive the cricketing ties with each other," Ashraf told a press conference in Islamabad. "What I feel is that we will be able to play each other this year in any available slot."

He returned to Pakistan on Saturday and was due to brief media on Monday afternoon in Lahore but cancelled it to make a quick trip to Islamabad, where he met with senior political figures in the government before speaking to the press at a local hotel. Ashraf is close to Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, who is also PCB patron, and he also holds a key position in the Pakistan Peoples Party central executive committee.

India and Pakistan have not played each other in a bilateral series since December 2007. It is India's turn to tour Pakistan, but the country has not hosted an international series between two Full Members at home following the Lahore terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in March 2009. Bilateral ties between India and Pakistan have been frozen since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Pakistan, however, travelled to India to play in the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup.

Talks of a revival of Pakistan-India cricketing ties began when Ashraf requested Zardari to take up the issue with the Indian government. A meeting between the head of the states in Delhi in April provided more impetus to the talks with indications that the Indian government had no objections to the resumption of cricket between the two countries.

Ashraf, who had taken over from Ijaz Butt last October with Pakistan cricket facing a host of issues, called his India tour a successful one. "Reviving the relationship with India was the toughest task but the job is nearly done," he said. A final decision on a series between the two teams is likely to be taken in Kuala Lumpur, where the ICC's board of directors meets later this month.

He however ruled out the perception that only Pakistan was insisting on a bilateral series while India had little interest in it. "They want to play with us - that is the point we both agreed and have been discussing on the sidelines of ICC meetings in last many months.

"It's not like we are begging to play and depending on them. It's about the relationship that is eventually linked up with playing each other. The relationship with India is very important at the top level. Other than that there are minor issues like exchange of junior level teams, women's cricket team and participation in the IPL which will all be sorted out."

Malik, the outgoing ambassador in India, also called for a series between India and Pakistan. "I hope that the cricket bilateral series between India and Pakistan resume soon," Malik told reporters in Delhi. "There is a desire on the part of the leadership of both countries that this start."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manoj.verma on June 8, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Why PCB is dying to play with India.....?

  • on June 7, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    i dont mind india pak not playing , but once started anything should not stop sporting ties.

  • on June 7, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    india vs pakistan > england vs australia Any day any time anywhere.

  • tanstell87 on June 7, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Another option would have been a tri series in Sri Lanka in month of July...India is touring Sri Lanka in last week of July...so it would have been better if the ODI series between Sri Lanka & Pakistan was scheduled later & been converted into tri series with India as 3rd team....tri series with India-Pakistan & Sri Lanka would have treat to watch...it was norm back in late 90's for Sri Lanka to host tri series in month of July...i dont understand why tri series were scrapped entirely by all cricket boards...even Australia scrapped it after 2008 only to play one this year...many will agree with me that a tri series is a better bet than bilateral series where most of series are won in 1st 3 games & rest 2 are dead rubbers...!!

  • tanstell87 on June 7, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    i feel one off test match will be more entertaining than an ODI or T20.....the only bowler to trouble Sachin Tendulkar in last few years has been Saeed Ajmal & it would be fantastic to watch this two battle....even for that matter Sehwag & Gambhir against Ajmal & Umar Gul would be treat for fans....Sachin in last leg of his career will have one final chance to play against Pakistan in a test match...but i sincerely hope they should host this match somewhere in west zone where due & rain doesn't affect the match...!!

  • bala2rahul on June 7, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Please play a ONE OFF test instead of odis and t20s. It has been an eternity since we saw test. the possible dates are November 1-5, December 26-30 or January 3-7. please play a test match instead of limited overs.

  • fahumyhana on June 6, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    they should play every year a series and it should be like ashes series well done ashraff

  • Romenevans on June 6, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Should make it a big event that will continue to decades and name it like "The Vengeance" or something to make it dramatize.

  • neerajprasher on June 6, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    they should play tri series in srilanka india pak will be great

  • on June 6, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    if it will happen all world enjoy. i think its responsibility of ICC that pak vs ind series necessaries for asian cricket .....ICC should and try hard for series hope it will in future

  • Manoj.verma on June 8, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Why PCB is dying to play with India.....?

  • on June 7, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    i dont mind india pak not playing , but once started anything should not stop sporting ties.

  • on June 7, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    india vs pakistan > england vs australia Any day any time anywhere.

  • tanstell87 on June 7, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Another option would have been a tri series in Sri Lanka in month of July...India is touring Sri Lanka in last week of July...so it would have been better if the ODI series between Sri Lanka & Pakistan was scheduled later & been converted into tri series with India as 3rd team....tri series with India-Pakistan & Sri Lanka would have treat to watch...it was norm back in late 90's for Sri Lanka to host tri series in month of July...i dont understand why tri series were scrapped entirely by all cricket boards...even Australia scrapped it after 2008 only to play one this year...many will agree with me that a tri series is a better bet than bilateral series where most of series are won in 1st 3 games & rest 2 are dead rubbers...!!

  • tanstell87 on June 7, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    i feel one off test match will be more entertaining than an ODI or T20.....the only bowler to trouble Sachin Tendulkar in last few years has been Saeed Ajmal & it would be fantastic to watch this two battle....even for that matter Sehwag & Gambhir against Ajmal & Umar Gul would be treat for fans....Sachin in last leg of his career will have one final chance to play against Pakistan in a test match...but i sincerely hope they should host this match somewhere in west zone where due & rain doesn't affect the match...!!

  • bala2rahul on June 7, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Please play a ONE OFF test instead of odis and t20s. It has been an eternity since we saw test. the possible dates are November 1-5, December 26-30 or January 3-7. please play a test match instead of limited overs.

  • fahumyhana on June 6, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    they should play every year a series and it should be like ashes series well done ashraff

  • Romenevans on June 6, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Should make it a big event that will continue to decades and name it like "The Vengeance" or something to make it dramatize.

  • neerajprasher on June 6, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    they should play tri series in srilanka india pak will be great

  • on June 6, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    if it will happen all world enjoy. i think its responsibility of ICC that pak vs ind series necessaries for asian cricket .....ICC should and try hard for series hope it will in future

  • on June 6, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    why PCB or BCCI can't decide to host PAKISTAN VS INDIA match in SRI LANKA soon after the ICC T20 worldcup finishes ''''''''''''''''''''?????????????

  • on June 6, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    a test match would be fine sewag vs ajmal would be fantastic

  • on June 6, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    it will good if we can play this series we all will love it to happen but for some guys who are saying india cant come to UAE and pakistan first of all to them does the schedule allow it we have 10 day break which is after a grueling 4 test and 2 t20 series and before 5 odi so how do you expect us to come to UAE and pakistan in between this and for your information last 3 matches between the teams all have been won by india other were held in Dambulla and Dhaka and the one held in India was a WC Semi final .

  • indiasupbangalore on June 6, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    please please no 20/20 tamasha if they have just 10 days open play one test match guys.

  • QingdaoXI on June 6, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    India has only 10 days gap to play cricket with any other country from this year to next IPL it is between when england team will go back to uk for christmas 25th Dec to 5 jan. Between that period pakistan is also free. So Please start with T-20 cricket 3 t-20 and 3-odis will be good series. T-20 on 25th, 27th and 29th Dec 2012 and Odis on 1st, 3rd and 5th Jan 2013. It is a short series but it will be sweet to start the relationship between two teams. T-20 At Ahmedabad, Baroda and Rajkoti and Odis at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur . This all venues are from west Zones because North zone will have winter and problem of dew and south zone especially chennai and kochi have rain this time.

  • iBilal on June 5, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    This Zaka Ashraf guy is good, much better than Mr Butt. All the best Mr. Zaka

  • ProdigyA on June 5, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    Hope this will solve PCB's financial crisis.

  • SirViv1973 on June 5, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @explicitplatimum, It would be a bit difficult for Ind to tour Pak right now with no other teams prepared to go there, sad though it is for fans of the game there. Surely a series in Ind would be preferable to none at all. I guess they could arrange something in UAE or maybe Srl otherwise.

  • on June 5, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    well if it's india's turn to tour pakistan, then india and pak should play in the UAE and not india as its pak's official home away from home now. But im sure india would not want to play pak in the UAE after what happened to Sri Lanka and England and their own personal history. let's make the interesting, Lanka played pak in sharjah, would love to india back in sharjah. dont worry guy's we will even play without USRS, just come play us in the UAE if you truly are the champs....

  • Nadeem1976 on June 5, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Looking forward to matches against india because win matter in that series. I hope to see this series very soon.

  • ExplicitPlatinum on June 5, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Oh come on now, why does it ALWAYS have to be Pakistan who should be the one touring India? Most of the matches played between Pak and Ind have been hosted by India. India should be the one touring Pakistan. This is completely unfair.

  • on June 5, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    If India agree to play at least three or four T-20 in there own country than it will be really a fine connection and it will open the way for full Indian tour to Pakistan, I am still not understand why the politicians are involved in a humble game of cricket which peoples of both countries anxiously waiting to see there heroes to play a great game , I hope some good result will come when both heads of cricket will meet in the ICC meeting, thee are encouraging signs from India side even Indian captain Dhoni said they like to play with Pakistan.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 5, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    I don't understand why the politicians have their noses inside cricket ???? they are the snakes. They should be cut off from a sport which involves ordinary people and people who only want to have a good time and enjoy some cricket. Politics has no place in sports. Indian and Pakistani politicians have done enough to ruin the relationship between the two nations. Okay, I get it. Both the boards are run by politicians !! :(

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on June 5, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    I'm for this series. If it happens it happens. And if it doesn't, then no problems. Pakistan has series against Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa over the next year, as well as the T20 WC. But it has been nice that the BCCI has been opening up to Pakistani cricket.

  • on June 5, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Can't wait :D Love you ZAKA SIR!

  • scandalboy on June 5, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Waiting to see this clash... :)

  • billbowden311 on June 5, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Yes finally Indo-Pak cricket!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • billbowden311 on June 5, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Yes finally Indo-Pak cricket!!!

  • scandalboy on June 5, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Waiting to see this clash... :)

  • on June 5, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Can't wait :D Love you ZAKA SIR!

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on June 5, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    I'm for this series. If it happens it happens. And if it doesn't, then no problems. Pakistan has series against Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa over the next year, as well as the T20 WC. But it has been nice that the BCCI has been opening up to Pakistani cricket.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 5, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    I don't understand why the politicians have their noses inside cricket ???? they are the snakes. They should be cut off from a sport which involves ordinary people and people who only want to have a good time and enjoy some cricket. Politics has no place in sports. Indian and Pakistani politicians have done enough to ruin the relationship between the two nations. Okay, I get it. Both the boards are run by politicians !! :(

  • on June 5, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    If India agree to play at least three or four T-20 in there own country than it will be really a fine connection and it will open the way for full Indian tour to Pakistan, I am still not understand why the politicians are involved in a humble game of cricket which peoples of both countries anxiously waiting to see there heroes to play a great game , I hope some good result will come when both heads of cricket will meet in the ICC meeting, thee are encouraging signs from India side even Indian captain Dhoni said they like to play with Pakistan.

  • ExplicitPlatinum on June 5, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Oh come on now, why does it ALWAYS have to be Pakistan who should be the one touring India? Most of the matches played between Pak and Ind have been hosted by India. India should be the one touring Pakistan. This is completely unfair.

  • Nadeem1976 on June 5, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Looking forward to matches against india because win matter in that series. I hope to see this series very soon.

  • on June 5, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    well if it's india's turn to tour pakistan, then india and pak should play in the UAE and not india as its pak's official home away from home now. But im sure india would not want to play pak in the UAE after what happened to Sri Lanka and England and their own personal history. let's make the interesting, Lanka played pak in sharjah, would love to india back in sharjah. dont worry guy's we will even play without USRS, just come play us in the UAE if you truly are the champs....

  • SirViv1973 on June 5, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @explicitplatimum, It would be a bit difficult for Ind to tour Pak right now with no other teams prepared to go there, sad though it is for fans of the game there. Surely a series in Ind would be preferable to none at all. I guess they could arrange something in UAE or maybe Srl otherwise.