No word from BCCI over Indo-Pak series, says PCB

There were speculations doing the rounds that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in talks with the Indian government over a bilateral series at a neutral venue. But on Wednesday, the PCB executive committee chairman, Dr Najam Sethi, confirmed to Sportstar, that there is no truth to the matter.

India-Pakistan last faced each other in a World T20 group stage match in Kolkata on March 19.   -  V.Ganesan

The chances of an India-Pakistan bilateral series look remote with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) claiming that it hasn’t heard anything from the Indian board yet.

There were speculations doing the rounds that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in talks with the Indian government over a bilateral series at a neutral venue. But on Wednesday, the PCB executive committee chairman, Dr Najam Sethi, confirmed to Sportstar, that there is no truth to the matter. “We haven’t heard anything from BCCI yet. Neither the Board, nor the Indian government has told us anything in this regard,” was how Sethi reacted.

Sethi has denied that BCCI has made any contact with PCB over a possible series in Dubai.

 

In an interview to Sportstar earlier this month, Sethi, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), had indicated that the PCB was mulling a legal action against the BCCI for dishonouring the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) — which both the Boards had signed in 2014.

He iterated a similar statement on Tuesday. “Our position is quite clear. There is no question of backing out from the legal option,” Sethi said.

For the last couple of days the cricketing fraternity was abuzz with speculations over the BCCI looking at a September or November window to play Pakistan. It was also learnt that the BCCI was open to take on the arch-rival in Dubai, as it was considered convenient for both the sides. “But we haven’t heard any such thing. We can only talk about it once there is any official missive,” Sethi said.

According to the MoU, both the countries are scheduled to play six series between 2015 and 2023 after a clearance from the Indian government. But alleging that the BCCI was showing little interest, the PCB had even threatened to take the matter to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Sethi, however, maintained that such an option is still open. “We have all the options on the table. We are discussing a few issues internally, and only after we reach a conclusion, can we make that public,” Sethi said.

India has not played a full bilateral Test series with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Although Pakistan had toured India in December 2012 for a short limited-over series, a full series has not resumed. And now, with PCB denying any such developments, the series looks quite a distant dream!