The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday proposed a limited-over series with Pakistan, comprising five one-day and two Twenty20 internationals, but reiterated that the Indian team would not be travelling to Pakistan or UAE for the matches.
“We are committed to playing Pakistan in December. However, since it’s not possible to play them in Pakistan or the UAE, we have to look at playing the series in Northern India in December,” BCCI chief Shashank Manohar told The Hindu.
“To play against Pakistan we need to get government permission. So we need to speak to the government and abide by whatever decision the government takes.”
While the development may provide some relief to the Pakistan Cricket Board, there has been no mention of a full-fledged Test series between India and Pakistan as agreed upon between the two boards in 2014 on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in Melbourne.
According to Indian media, top BCCI officials have already started talks with the government and another series of discussions are expected to take place after Diwali.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur will be approaching the Union Home Ministry to get confirmation for the series.
“We want cricketing ties to happen, we don’t want politics to hamper cricket,” a top BCCI official was quoted by The Indian Express.
“We will be going with a few proposals: one, where we can have five ODIs and two T20s. In the second proposal, we can have three ODIs and two T20s. All these games will be played in those parts of the country where we feel there will be no disturbance from political parties.”
Earlier, the BCCI in a letter to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Oct 29 expressed regret over the cancellation of talks between Shaharyar Khan and Manohar.
The BCCI, in its letter, said that they have approached the Indian government for the approval of a bilateral series between the two traditional rivals.
Shaharyar Khan, along with a three-member PCB delegation, visited India to discuss with BCCI president Shashank Manohar to take a final decision whether India was ready to play the series as per the MoU signed last year.
However, members of Indian extremist party Shiv Sena party sabotaged the scheduled meeting at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, when around 40 to 50 individuals stormed the venue of the meeting prior to its start.
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.
The series is one of six agreed between the PCB and BCCI under a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year when PM Manmohan Singh-led government gave its go-ahead for the series.
Later the BCCI said it will have to get permission from their new Modi-led government for the said series.
But the current strained political situation with regular ceasefire violations from both sides and cancellation of talks between the security advisers of the two countries in August leaves the series in serious doubt.