Former PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan says India-Pakistan series "unlikely anytime soon"
What's the story?
Shahryar Khan, a former Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), does not expect arch-rivals India and Pakistan to resume cricketing ties anytime soon owing to continued political tensions between the two countries.
"The real reason behind the absence of India and Pakistan bilateral series is political and has nothing to do with either the PCB or the BCCI. In the current political climate, I really do not see any way in the near future that both teams will be able to play each other,” he told Pakpassion.net.
In case you didn't know..
Post the tragic terror attacks in a Mumbai hotel in November 2008, both countries have been at loggerheads politically. The first cricketing impact that it had was that the England team, then playing in India, had their final two scheduled ODIs cancelled, returning home after the first five matches. Though they came back to play the two Tests, the venues of both those games were changed, given one of those was originally to be played in Mumbai.
India's tour of Pakistan in January 2009 was also cancelled, meaning that the last full series between the teams took place as far back as in 2007, with a short limited-overs played in India in late 2012. Apart from that, India and Pakistan have played each other only in the various ICC tournaments since 2009.
The heart of the matter
In 2014, the cricket boards of India and Pakistan had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), stating that the two teams would contest six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. Out of those six, four were supposed to be Pakistan's home series.
"I know for a fact that BCCI tried to convince their government and explained to them that there would be a loss of revenue for both India and Pakistan. However, the Government of India has stuck by its stand that unless the political climate improves, there can be no resumption of cricketing relations between both countries. They will simply not allow it," Khan stated.
He added that while he hoped things would improve in the future between the two governments and eventually the two cricket boards, he did not see India and Pakistan playing a bilateral contest in the near future save for those in ICC events.
"We will continue to play India in ICC tournaments as we did in the Champions Trophy and so on, but no Test or limited-overs series will be played between the two countries in the foreseeable future," he bluntly said.
With the BCCI not slotting a single match against Pakistan other than those in ICC tournaments in its latest FTP of 2019-2023, something which the PCB has challenged, it serves as a clear indication of cricketing ties not resuming between India and Pakistan anytime in the foreseeable future.
And with the persistent political worries, it also seems highly unlikely that the Central Government of India will permit a series against Pakistan soon.