Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent
The PCB wants an apology from the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) for its response after a bomb blast in Kabul on May 31. Ties between the boards were effectively severed in the wake of an attack that left more than 80 people dead and nearly 500 injured. But on Sunday*, after a meeting of the board, the ACB chief Atif Mashal said: "our relations with other cricket boards, including PCB, are based on mutual respect and national interests and we do not see the need for an apology"
Soon after the blast two months ago, ACB tweeted that it was cancelling "agreed terms of mutual cricketing relationship" with its Pakistan counterpart. And the issue escalated when the ACB, in an expanded statement, blamed Pakistan for the attack, saying that no agreement could be "valid in a country where terrorists are housed and provided a safe haven".
"One day, their chairman [Mashal] met me and was very positive about having good relations," Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, said in Lahore. "But next day he gave an extremely political statement about Pakistan, so then we told them that we don't have anything to do with you. He later did express his regret on making the statement and had also apologised privately. But we, the board, have taken a position that until they apologise in public, we should not be reviving any cricketing ties with them."
Three days before the May 31 blast, a delegation led by Mashal had met Khan in Lahore. After lengthy discussions, the Pakistan board expressed its willingness to provide Afghanistan with venues for training and conditioning camps, and laid the groundwork for Pakistan's youth and senior teams to play reciprocal tours. Both boards had agreed, in principle, to play T20 friendlies - as opposed to internationals - as part of their efforts to renew ties with each other. The matches were set to take place in Kabul and Lahore in July and August.
But, following the blast, the ACB changed its stance. The PCB issued a strong response extending its sympathies to the victims of the attack, but hit back at the "baseless allegations levelled by the Afghanistan Cricket Board". After the ACB had cancelled the itinerary, the PCB then said that the matches were simply an "informal understanding with ACB". The Pakistan board also said that the tour was subject to conducive security conditions in Afghanistan and therefore stood cancelled due to the continuous "insecurity and instability" there.
Afghanistan were recently awarded Full Member status at the ICC and are now eligible to play Test cricket. The PCB has played a lauded role in Afghanistan's cricketing progress over the years.
That rise, over the past eight years, has been steady ever since they gained ODI status in 2009 after the World Cup Qualifier in South Africa that year. That was followed by three-consecutive promotions starting from the fifth division of the World Cricket League. Over the past 12 months, Afghanistan have been fairly successful against other Full Members, securing three ODI wins over Zimbabwe and tying West Indies in an ODI series in June.
*1025 GMT The story has been updated with the ACB's response