Sachin urges resumption of India-Pakistan cricket ties

New York, Nov 3 (IANS) Asserting that cricketing ties can help improve relations, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has urged the governments of India and Pakistan to resume the bilateral series which has been stalled due to political tension.

“These are issues which the two countries’ governments need to decide. I think that the relations (between India and Pakistan) need to improve. If the governments feel that this is the ideal way to move forward and the two boards also feel the same, I do not see any reason why we should not play,” Tendulkar told the local media here on Monday.

“If the governments feel it is inappropriate then we have to abide by their decision,” he added.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had signed an MoU according to which the two sub-continental neighbours are scheduled to play six bilateral series by 2023. The first of those series was due to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month, but political tension arising out of a series of violent incidents on the border has all but ruled it out.

PCB chief Shahryar Khan had travelled to Mumbai last month to hold talks with BCCI president Shashank Manohar in an effort to revive bilateral cricket. But the meeting was called off after Shiv Sena activists stormed the BCCI headquarters and forcibly aborted the talks.

That incident prompted the PCB to threaten a pull-out from the World T20 championship to be held in India next year.

The BCCI chief later wrote to Shahryar, condemning the Shiv Sena’s action and expressing regret for the cancellation of talks. The BCCI also informed that they have approached the Indian government for a decision on the fate of the December series.

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