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Indian sports minister rules out cricket series with Pakistan

Updated May 29, 2017

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Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday reaffirmed India's stance concerning a bilateral cricket series with Pakistan.

"Cricket and terrorism can’t go hand-in-hand," the Hindustan Times quoted the minister as saying while he spoke to reporters in New Delhi.

"India and Pakistan can't play a bilateral series till the terror from Pakistan remains," Times of India quoted Goel as saying.

"[The] BCCI should speak to the government before giving any proposal to Pakistan. I have made it clear that bilateral cricket with Pakistan is not possible till the time there is cross-border terror. We have, however, no say on multilateral events," he added.

PCB-BCCI delegations meet in Dubai

The delegations of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met in Dubai on Monday and shared their stated positions on the matter of resumption of bilateral series between the two countries.

“The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and its outcome will be shared with the members of their respective boards,” a PCB spokesman here said.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of PCB's delivering a legal notice to the BCCI for its failure to fulfill its cricket playing commitments with Pakistan as per a memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries.

Pakistan and India are due to play each other at the Champions Trophy in England on June 4.

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been willing to hold negotiations with Pakistan regarding the bilateral series, they have maintained that the final decision rests with the Indian government.

“We still remain committed to playing, but the position doesn’t change: the series cannot go ahead without the permission of the government of India," Hindustan Times quoted BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary as saying shortly after the Goel made his remarks.

"After PCB wrote to us, we have written to the government of India again, and are awaiting the response. I believe the dialogue should go on, which is why we are meeting,” Choudhary added.

Earlier this week, the BCCI said it had reminded the government a fortnight ago about the contentious issue of resuming bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan.

The two countries have not played a bilateral series in India or Pakistan since 2012.

Later today, top officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and BCCI are due to meet in Dubai to begin negotiations over the financial loss suffered by the former due to India’s constant refusal to resume bilateral series with Pakistan.

The BCCI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the PCB in 2014 for six bilateral series between two countries between 2015 and 2023 with Pakistan hosting four and India two.

It was in return for PCB’s support for ICC’s ‘Big Three’ formula, which saw India, Australia and England become major beneficiaries of the income of cricket’s governing body. The ‘Big Three’ model was scrapped in April this year.

The PCB is looking for a compensation of US$69.4 million for India not living up to their commitment, with the BCCI claiming it isn’t receiving the green signal from its government.