The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Roger Binny and vice-president Rajeev Shukla will travel to Lahore to attend an Asia Cup fixture in the first week of September.
Sources in the BCCI have confirmed to Sportstar that the Indian board has accepted an invitation from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and as representatives of the board, both Binny and Shukla are likely to watch the group match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at the Gaddafi Stadium on September 5.
This is a significant development as the BCCI had earlier refused to send the national team to Pakistan citing security reasons, which prompted the PCB to adopt the ‘hybrid model’.
This will be first visit by BCCI office bearers to the neighbouring nation since 2012 when political tensions between both countries aggrevated. The two countries haven’t been involved in a bilateral series since 2012.
“They (Binny and Shukla) will first travel to Sri Lanka to watch the Indian team in action and will then head to Pakistan, crossing the Attari border on September 3,” a source in the BCCI said.
On the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Durban last month, the PCB head Zaka Ashraf had reportedly invited BCCI secretary Jay Shah - also the head of the Asian Cricket Council - to attend games in Lahore, but the BCCI officials had refuted those reports.
But there seems to be a change of heart. “The PCB had invited BCCI and as one of the key members of Asian Cricket Council and after consulting with the stakeholders, the board decided that the president and the vice-president will be travelling to the neighbouring nation,” the source said.
While four matches of the Asia Cup will be played in Pakistan with Lahore hosting three matches, the remainder of the tournament will be held in Sri Lanka with Pallekele and Colombo as the venues.
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