MIRPUR, Bangladesh,21 March-2014 (Reuters):India beat Pakistan by seven wickets in a Group Two match of…
New Delhi(PTI): PCB chairman Shahryar Khan has welcomed the return of ‘old friend’ Jagmohan Dalmiya to the BCCI helm and said that he will be visiting India later in the week to seek confirmation from his counterpart on the planned series between the two countries from 2015 to 2023.
Both Dalmiya and Khan were in charge of their respect boards when India toured Pakistan in 2004 after a 14-year gap.
“He (Dalmiya) is an old friend and I hope we continue the good relations of the past. We were able to organise a landmark visit together back then and I am confident we will find a way to restore our cricketing ties,” Khan told PTI over the phone on Tuesday.
Though Khan hopes that Pakistani players get to compete in the IPL, he said the priority is to resume bilateral series.
“I am coming to India on Thursday or Friday and hope for a fruitful meeting with Dalmiya and other BCCI officials. The priority is that what we should confirm the MoU that have been signed between the two boards to play six series in eight years and the first will be Pakistan’s home series that will be played in the UAE,” said Khan.
According to the ‘binding agreement’ signed between countries, India and Pakistan are scheduled to play 12 Tests, 30 ODIs and 11 Twenty20s spread over six series with the first one scheduled from December 2015. However, all series will be played subject to Indian government clearance. The arch-rivals last played a bilateral series in December 2012-January 2013 when Pakistan toured India for a short series.
Pakistan has been devoid of international cricket since the terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009. Khan reiterated that he doesn’t see India touring Pakistan unless the closure of the Mumbai terror attack case at home.
“The situation needs to improve for India to tour Pakistan and sadly that has not happened yet,” he said. The 80-year-old Bhopal born administrator further said that he will be discussing the IPL players’ issue with Dalmiya but a solution is unlikely due to ‘security concerns’ of the Pakistani players.
Talking about Pakistan’s sluggish start at the ongoing World Cup, Khan hopes for the team’s revival after the win against Zimbabwe.
“Batting has been the weakest point of our team. The start has been far from ideal but I hope the boys find a way to turn things around.”
It is hard to keep the Pakistan team away from controversies with the latest one resulting in the return of chief selector Moin Khan from New Zealand following his visit to a casino.
Shoaib Akhtar was amongst the many former players who had blasted the team following its defeat to India and West Indies.
“All the former players should avoid making critical comments when the tournament is going. It affects the boys. As far as the Moin Khan incident is concerned, he has already apologised for his actions and no disciplinary action will be taken against him,” Khan added.