Last month, Board of Cricket Conrol in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur had categorically highlighted that India would not play any matches against Pakistan, owing to the current socio-political relations between both countries. He also wrote an official letter requesting the International Cricket Council (ICC) to not schedule any matches between both sides, even on neutral venues. However, according to sources close to Sportskeeda, BCCI has given the green signal for an encounter at the upcoming Women’s Asia T-20 tournament next year.
A source within BCCI said, “I saw the remarks by a PCB official about our last meeting in ICC, I wouldn’t say its not far from the truth. We agreed on the fact that there is no way we can avoid playing in ICC tournaments on neutral venues. It will create unbelievable logistical issues for all parties involved. Now, what we have to figure out in the next meeting is, if there any tournament being held in India, how would we figure that out. Hence, we still have to figure out logistics. We are looking at the women’s tournaments first to see how things pan out. Although it is not a green signal for us.”
He added, “We don’t want to sound like we are being stubborn, but in this case keeping sport outside politics is not possible, because of the safety of players and other officials. We cannot gauge the repurcussions of the Pakistan national team coming to India or vice versa, considering the hostile nature between both the countries right now. Yes, the PCB contingent wanted bilateral series, but since the series would only be possible in India, we had to voice our reservations. However, we are more hopeful of matches at ICC tournaments.”
On being asked about Pakistan attending the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow, he said, “Let’s be honest there is a massive difference between a junior hockey tournament and a India Pakistan cricket match, as tempers can flare. We cannot confirm about the UAE series we pulled out off, but talks are on to find a solution as even the BCCI is committed to grow the sport of cricket and we know how important the rivalry is to the sport. The PCB has made it clear to us that they are okay with playing a match in India.”
The Women’s Asia T-20 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand next month with six teams looking for continental glory. Other teams are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand.