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England Backs Cricket Series Between Pakistan, India

by AFP


PCB chairman says Islamabad has directed him against taking any decision without government approval.

Pakistan cricket chief Shaharyar Khan on Friday said England supported the resumption of ties between India and Pakistan stalled for seven years due to strained relations.

Pakistan and India are scheduled to play two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 matches in United Arab Emirates next month but the series is under serious doubt after a deadlock between the two boards.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) last week invited Pakistan to play the matches on their grounds but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) insisted the series should be held in U.A.E., under the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year.

The six series between 2015 to 2023—four to be hosted by Pakistan—were all subject to clearance from the respective governments.

PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) president Giles Clarke is also supporting the series. “Former ECB chairman Giles Clarke [now president of the ECB] is also making an effort [for India-Pakistan series] and he is also of the opinion that the series should be held for the interest of cricket,” Khan told media on the sidelines of fourth day-night international between Pakistan and England. “Clarke believes that a Pakistan-India series is vital for the game and he is also talking to the BCCI chief and I have told him that he has no need to convince us, convince the BCCI.”

Khan said Clarke was due to arrive in Dubai on Saturday while BCCI chairman Shashank Manohar—also the new chairman of the International Cricket Council—is also in the city. “I have no meeting scheduled with Manohar but if he asks for a meeting then we can meet,” said Khan. “Lets see if Clarke makes the effort and comes here tomorrow.”

Khan said the Pak-Indo series is now a matter for Islamabad to decide with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directing the PCB not to take any decision without the government’s advice. “Now the matter is political because the advice from the P.M. is that the final decision will be made by the government only. We have put that before the BCCI,” said Khan, a former foreign secretary. “We always wanted this series to happen right from the start, if India is not accepting what they have signed in the MoU then if doesn’t happen then so be it.”

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