Delhi may be a venue for short Pak series

A BCCI official said that a final decision could be taken at a working committee meeting soon.

New Delhi: The Pakistani cricket team could play between one and three matches in India in December-January, during the 13-day gap in the home series against England, and Delhi could be amongst the venues.

According to a top BCCI official, there is no other slot available for the resumption of the bilateral series after almost five years. He pointed out that it has to be ODIs and T20 Internationals, and no Test matches. He didn’t rule out a visit by either the Pakistani Prime Minister or President at one of the venues.

“Playing one match doesn’t make much sense, but we can’t have more than three matches as the series can’t last more than nine days, as it would be slotted between the Test series and the ODIs against England. But the itinerary is yet to be finalised,” the official told MAIL TODAY.

The official said that a final decision could be taken at a working committee meeting soon so that BCCI president N Srinivasan could sign an MoU with his Pakistani counterpart Muhammad Zaka Ashraf during the ICC annual conference in Kuala Lumpur this month.

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On Sunday, the BCCI office bearers met in Mumbai and are believed to have discussed the Pakistan series.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ashraf, who held “successful” talks with N Srinivasan in Chennai recently, said that he was ready to “adjust” to the slot the BCCI decides.

“We’ll adjust to whatever time slot the BCCI finalises. Both of us will go back to our Boards and Mr Srinivasan and I will meet again in Kuala Lumpur to sign an MoU for the series,” Ashraf told MAIL TODAY from Lahore. “We didn’t discuss the venues, but we’ll have no problems on that count.”

Srinivasan declined to commit on the dates and venues, saying that a final decision is yet to be taken. “We had friendly meetings with Mr Ashraf and it was a great pleasure to meet him in Dubai earlier. We had friendly discussions on the resumption of the bilateral series. But I cannot comment anything more on the issue,” Srinivasan told MAIL TODAY.

The last time the two countries played a Test series was in late 2007 in India. India subsequently didn’t tour Pakistan following the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

The top BCCI official said that since the Pakistan series was likely to be squeezed between the England series, care has to be taken so that the Indian players don’t get too tired before the ODI series against England begins on January 11.

“The only gap in this packed home season is of 13 days after the four Tests and two-match T20 series against England ends on December 22. If there are three games — either two T20s and one ODI, or two ODIs and one T20 — they have to finish in nine days. So, the venues have to be close to each other. They could be Delhi, Mohali and Kanpur. But Chennai can’t be ruled out,” he said.

Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2012. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


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