Will compel India to play Pakistan: PCB chief

Islamabad, Dec 1 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) asserted on Thursday that it intends to compel the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) into honouring the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for six bilateral series between the two countries.

The BCCI and the PCB had signed an MoU in 2014 under which the two countries agreed to play a total of six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.

The first of those series was originally scheduled to be hosted by the PCB in the United arab Emirates (UAE) in December last year.

But political tension between the two countries resulting from repeated violence on the border prompted the BCCI to sever cricketing relations with Pakistan.

However, PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan, who attended a meeting of the national standing committee on sports on Thursday, is adamant that he is well within his rights to demand a bilateral series with India.

“We are not begging them to play us. Please don’t get that impression but the BCCI signed a proper Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with us to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 and they haven’t met their commitment,” Shaharyar told reporters after the meeting.

Pointing out that the PCB had suffered huge financial losses due the BCCI’s refusal to go ahead with the bilateral series, Shaharyar said India owes Pakistan at least two home series.

“It is our right as a cricket nation to push them to honour the MOU. They immediately owe us at least two home series as the last full bilateral series was played in India in 2007. In the MOU, Pakistan was to host four series between 2015 and 2023,” he said.

Pointing out that the PCB has taken up the matter with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) executive board, Shaharyar said the game’s world governing body has told the BCCI to show any evidence to back their claim they couldn’t play Pakistan in a bilateral series due to government advice.

“The BCCI couldn’t show any document to the ICC to back their claim which is why the ICC committee awarded six points to Pakistan.

“We now want the Indian board to provide the ICC with evidence that they have been told by their government to not play us in bilateral series despite a written MOU signed between the two boards in 2014 to play six such series between 2015 and 2022,” he told the Jang newspaper.

“We were even ready to host our home series in Sri Lanka last January under the MOU but India said it didn’t get clearance from its external ministry,” he added.

“We have consulted our lawyers on the issue and will be taking up this case of bilateral series at the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) meeting this month.”

India has not played Pakistan in a full bilateral series since 2007 when Pakistan went to India.

Recently, the BCCI had also urged the ICC not to put the arch-rivals in the same group in global tournaments.

–IANS

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