Pakistan ready to play in India, says PCB chief

Shaharyar Khan’s statement comes after the PCB sent a notice of intent to its Indian counterpart seeking compensation for India’s refusal to honour the MoU signed between the two boards.

Shaharyar Khan... “A series between Pakistan and India generates the most revenue, even the ICC accepts that.”   -  AP

Pakistan is ready to send its national team to India for a bilateral series despite reluctance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan has said.

“The PCB would be willing to even send the team to play in India but unfortunately the situation is that the BCCI is not even ready to play with us in their own country citing security threats,” he said at a function at the Karachi Press Club here. “We would be willing to play in India despite security threats,” he added.

Shaharyar’s statement comes after the PCB sent a notice of intent to the BCCI seeking compensation for India’s refusal to honour the MoU signed between the two boards in 2014 to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. India and Pakistan have not played a full bilateral series since the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 but in the 2012-13 season Pakistan went to India for a short limited-overs series as a goodwill gesture, hoping India would reciprocate.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) wanted bilateral ties to resume between the two countries as an India-Pakistan series commands a special place in world cricket, according to Shaharyar. Whenever the two countries play it ensures massive generation of revenues and even the ICC knows this, he said. “A series between Pakistan and India generates the most revenue, even the ICC accepts that,” Shaharyar said while addressing the media.

Shaharyar said the PCB would keep its window open for the scheduled series with India in December, 2017 as part of the MoU but it was a fact that India’s refusal to play Pakistan had hurt the PCB financially.

Shaharyar had earlier announced intentions of Pakistan not participating in a scheduled series in Bangladesh in July. But the board has since mitigated its stance. “We will sit down and look into it but we have said that we have been to Bangladesh twice or thrice now in last few years and they have not come to play with us since 2008,” Shaharyar said.

Shaharyar also said that the PCB had plans of felicitation for stalwarts Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan following their retirement from international cricket after the third Test against West Indies currently underway in Dominica. “I will be speaking to them when I go to Birmingham for the Champions Trophy and I will first ask them for their consent to the proposals we have for them,” Shaharyar said.

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