What’s the story?
The much speculated India-Pakistan series in Dubai might well not transpire according to the Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir.
“In the current circumstance cricket between India and Pakistan is not possible,” Ahir said to media persons outside the Parliament today.
However, since this is a matter pertaining to relations with a foreign country the final statement and decision still rests firmly with the Ministry of External Affairs. However, officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs claim that they have not received any letter from Pakistan pertaining to the series against India.
“A letter was sent to the home ministry a month back and we are awaiting clearance for a series this winter. It is a clear case of trying to honour the commitment we had made to the PCB back in 2014. We will discuss the venue and other factors regarding the series once we meet in the Capital on April 9 during the SGM,” CK Khanna, the acting BCCI chief said.
Khanna also claimed that further discussion would take place at the Special General Meeting in New Delhi on April 9, 2017.
Although the eventual decision on the series depends entirely on the Governments of both the countries, the fact that the BCCI has taken initiative towards the resumption of cricketing ties signals the intent of the board.
In case you didn’t know...
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the BCCI and PCB under which India and Pakistan would play six bilateral series from 2014 onwards. However, none of the six series has seen the light of day.
The political relations between the two neighbours hit rock bottom after the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks. The then BCCI president Anurag Thakur ruled out the possibility of reviving bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan in near future. He even went on to say that even considering such a thought is not appropriate.
After this statement, PCB boss Shahryar Khan threatened to slam legal notices on the BCCI for not respecting the MoU. Also, Najam Sethi had stated that although the PCB had been patient with the BCCI, their patience was running out.
It would now be interesting to see the route the BCCI takes considering the fact that the relations between the neighbours are far from cosy. Also, the decision of the Indian government would be under the scanner as cricket could well dictate their foreign policy towards Pakistan.
It is worth mentioning here that the Modi government has already faced a lot of flak for its flip-flop stances on Pakistan.
Although there will be many advocates who would speak in favour of the resumption of cricketing ties between the two nations, but then India and Pakistan relations are one complicated issue and hence it is difficult to see the series getting a green light in the current context of things.