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No India-Pakistan series this year, says Anurag Thakur

Thakur also said that the arch-rivals will only play each other in ICC tournaments, eliminating the possibility of a tie at a neutral venue

All hopes of an India-Pakistan series in 2016 have been destroyed in the first month of the year

Dashing the hopes of thousands of cricket fans across borders, and that of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the BCCI Secretary, Anurag Thakur has announced that there would no bilateral series played between India and Pakistan in 2016.

“No series planned against Pakistan this year. India will only play against them in multi-national tournaments,” Thakur told ANI.

So far, the organisation of the series has produced more drama than actual cricket would have produced had the series been organised, with both India and Pakistan refusing to play at each others’ home grounds with neutral venues such as Sri Lanka and England being suggested for the much talk-about clash.

The BCCI’s reasoning is that the Indian Government had denied permission to the team to play their neighbours in the UAE, in the wake of the possibilities of corruption that loom over that part of the world, and its ignominious history.

Pakistan, on the other hand, contended that since they were supposed to host the series according to the MoU signed between the two boards, the said fixtures cannot be organized in India. It also said, in the light of recent opposition expressed against Pakistani nationals in the Indian city of Mumbai, that the environment wouldn’t be safe for its players.

The ICC intervened thereafter and tried to resolve the issue by offering Sri Lanka as a neutral Asian venue for the arch-rivals. Nothing could transpire from that either, as the BCCI vehemently stated its government’s opposition to the series, even though the Pakistani government had given its go-ahead.

However, now, any chances of an India vs Pakistan game have been shunned by the secretary of the board himself, who further stated that India will only play Pakistan during the ICC tournaments thereby drawing curtains on a proposed neutral venue tie.

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