New Delhi: Friday morning brought a “pleasant surprise” for Subhan Ahmad, the Chief Operating Officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), when an Indian High Commission official in Islamabad called him up to inform that Faisalabad Wolves would, after all, be given visas to visit India for the Champions League T20.
Pakistan’s national T20 champions will now compete with Otago Volts, SunRisers Hyderabad and Kandurata Maroons in the qualifying round from September 17-20 in Mohali.
"Till Thursday night, we were unsure of the visas. But I got a call from the Indian High Commission on Friday morning, saying that Faisalabad Wolves would be given the visas. It came as a pleasant surprise to us,” Ahmad, who is in Chennai for an Asian Cricket Council meeting, told MAIL TODAY. “This step will serve as a confidence building measure between the countries and can pave the way for the full-fledged bilateral series. The general sentiment [between the two Boards] is that the bilateral series should be resumed gradually.”
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Ahmad said that much would hinge on the outcome of the meeting between the Indian and Pakistani PMs during the UN General Assembly session in New York on September 29. “A lot would depend on that meeting, and also on the Indian government’s policy, besides how the BCCI slots a series,” he said. “The PMs’ meeting is definitely a positive sign, but we’ll have to wait and see what its outcome is.”
The long-serving PCB COO, however, pointed out that to schedule a bilateral series immediately would be difficult, as both teams have already made commitments for the next few months. He also said that it was the turn of India to visit Pakistan after cancelling two scheduled tours since 2009 as per the ICC Future Tours Programme.
In recent times, India visited Pakistan in 2004 and 2006 for bilateral Test and ODI series, besides touring Karachi for the 2008 Asia Cup. Pakistan toured India in 2005 and 2007, besides visiting India for a short ODI-T20 series in 2012-13.
Ahmad claimed there was no formal discussion with BCCI president N. Srinivasan, who has temporarily withdrawn himself from day-to-day work. He also said that the speculated tri-series between India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in India this winter was also not talked about. “We didn’t discuss these issues today (Saturday),” he said.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.