Pakistan news June 29, 2012

India-Pakistan series still up in the air

The resumption of bilateral ties between India and Pakistan remains in the balance after inconclusive discussions between the heads of the two boards in Kuala Lumpur. The BCCI president N Srinivasan and the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf met on the sidelines of the ICC annual conference and agreed on a series in principle, but not on any specific details.

"We'd already agreed [in May] to playing each other, which he [Srinivasan] reconfirmed," Ashraf told ESPNcricinfo. "We will play, that's for sure, but dates and revenue matters are yet to be finalised."

Ashraf said Pakistan were ready for progress on the series but Srinivasan had said he would only be able to commit after checking with Indian authorities. It is Pakistan's turn to host a bilateral series, though Ashraf said the BCCI had the prerogative to decide on the dates. It's understood the BCCI is not keen to play at a neutral venue, and Pakistan are ready to play in India. However, the PCB would want the BCCI to share revenue because it has apparently not yet recovered from the loss suffered when India pulled out their planned tour in 2009.

The PCB is currently facing a shortfall of approximately $75 million in its annual budget and is looking at the India series to make up the deficit.

Pakistan and India have not played each other in a bilateral series since December 2007, and ties have been frozen since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist strike. Pakistan did, however, travel to India to play the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup.

Talks of reviving Pakistan-India cricketing ties began when Ashraf requested Pakistan President Asif Zardari to take up the issue with the Indian government. A meeting between the head of states in Delhi in April indicated that the Indian government had no objections to the resumption of cricket between the two countries. Last month, Ashraf visited India for the IPL final and it emerged that one window for the series could be during the gap in England's split tour to India at the end of the year.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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