Pakistan-India series would give Test cricket much-needed boost: ICC

Published September 10, 2015
India and Pakistan have not played a full series against each other since 2007. — AFP/File
India and Pakistan have not played a full series against each other since 2007. — AFP/File

International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Dave Richardson said the revival of cricketing ties between traditional foes India and Pakistan will give Test matches a much-needed boost.

“Once safety and security issues are addressed, and both parties are satisfied, it will undoubtedly give Test cricket a fillip to see the India-Pakistan series revived,” he said in an interview with The Hindu.

“This is one Test cricket, indeed one of sport’s great rivalries and an iconic series which would generate an enormous amount of publicity for the game, not just in both countries but across the world.”

Richardson’s statement has come at a time when a scheduled series comprising two Tests, five one-dayers and one Twenty20 International in the United Arab Emirates is clouded with uncertainty as relations between Pakistan and India remain under strain.

Read: India-Pakistan series unlikely under prevailing tension

Last year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which they were scheduled to play six series in the 2015-2023 Future Tours Programme.

But the fate of this programme was subject to clearance from New Delhi.

The two countries have not played a full series against each other since 2007, though Pakistan toured India for a short series in December 2012 for three one-day and two T20 matches.

The ICC chief said it also supported the PCB in its efforts to curb corruption in the game and was working with the board in the rehab of the spot-fixing trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

“Yes, the system is working but the ICC isn’t complacent. The ICC commissioned an Integrity Working Party to oversee the entire system as the threat of corruption is not just in international cricket, but a transient threat affecting the domestic game,” Richardson said.

Read: ‘PCB supported Big 3 to play India, what happened now?’

“A lot of work has been done to review these findings and there is a greater role for a central Anti-Corruption Unit as it attempts to pave the way for greater coordination of preventative and investigative activity around the world.”

The ICC CEO stressed that the Pakistan’s tainted trio would be given a second opportunity provided they met a “specified criteria”.

“With regard to the three players, the Tribunal saw fit to offer a second opportunity to them to return to domestic and international cricket, provided it met specified criteria,” he said.

“It is now up to the PCB to set up a formal rehabilitation programme, which it has done. The ICC fully supports the PCB in its efforts to help the players rebuild the reputation of the players and maintain the integrity of the game.”

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