Sri Lanka in the running to host India-Pakistan series
The biggest talking point from the meeting between the heads of the BCCI and PCB in Dubai is the possibility of Sri Lanka hosting the India-Pakistan series, reports ESPN Cricinfo.
The meeting between BCCI president Shashank Manohar and PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan took place at the ICC headquarters on Sunday afternoon and although there is no official confirmation, it is understood that Sri Lanka are in the mix to host the bilateral series, comprising of three ODIs and two T20s.
Although none of the officials revealed any details, Khan said that ECB president Giles Clarke, who was present at the meeting, will reveal further details on Monday.
"We had a fruitful meeting," Khan said. "Giles Clarke was our facilitator and Shashank was also in there. It has been decided that Giles Clarke will give a briefing tomorrow (Monday). We have also decided that there will be no further briefing. I am not in a position to say more than this."
While more details about the possible bilateral series between the two countries is likely to be revealed in the coming days, the mere fact that a neutral venue like Sri Lanka is being discussed must be seen as a step in the right direction, given the stance of both the BCCI and PCB, who don’t seem to want to play at each other’s home venue.
The presence of Clarke, who is a strong supporter of an India-Pakistan series and head of the ICC task force on Pakistan, was no surprise. Clarke had previously said: “It [the severed bilateral ties] is hurting the sport, particularly in Pakistan and the PTT sees no reason why this great sporting rivalry should not be restored as soon as possible, even if on neutral soil.”
For the meeting, Najam Sethi, head of PCB’s executive committee, accompanied Khan, while Shashank Manohar was the BCCI’s sole representative. Neither Manohar nor Clarke could be reached for any comment on the matter.
While the prospect of a potential series between two of the game’s biggest rivals is sure to excite fans, the tour is unlikely to be a long one. According to the ICC’s Future Tours Program, Pakistan were meant to host two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s against India in the UAE.
With India leaving for an ODI series in Australia, which starts on January 12, the series against Pakistan is likely to be shorter than originally planned.