What’s the story?
Pakistan Cricket Board is involved in a series of talks with the boards of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to find a replacement for India as they are the not very sure whether the BCCI would acknowledge the MoU signed between the two neighbours.
These talks with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are part of the contingency plan as the PCB is hoping it could lure either of the teams for a bilateral home season in December this year.
"Hopefully we will see either Bangladesh or Sri Lanka in Pakistan this winter," Najam Sethi, who heads the executive board of the PCB was as quoted by PTI today.
PCB is upbeat after successfully hosting the final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore and hence they have set their sights on the larger picture. Apart from looking for a replacement for India, the PCB is also mulling go ahead with the legal battle against India as they want compensation from the BCCI for failing to honour the MoU which has stripped away a number of home seasons from Pakistan.
The PCB claims it has lost nearly $200 million in revenues owing to India’s reluctance to give Pakistan a chance to host the home series. Sethi also believes that after the successful organisation of the PSL final they have received a major shot in the arm and that they can now build on this in the future as they have given an account of themselves to the International cricketing fraternity about the security concerns in the country.
However, Sethi has revealed that the Sri Lankan cricket authorities were also being convinced to send teams to Pakistan and that Bangladesh could send in a team of security experts to assess the arrangements in Pakistan.
In case you didn’t know...
Relations between India and Pakistan have taken a turn for the worse and the Indian board refused to play any bilateral series with their neighbours after the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks.
The then BCCI president Anurag Thakur had said that they aim to isolate Pakistan as it sponsors terrorism and hence there is no question of playing cricket with them anytime soon.
This statement was not met with enthusiasm from the PCB which aimed to censure Anurag Thakur for recent comments on India-Pakistan relations and cricket ties. The board also decided to take legal action against the BCCI for not agreeing to play two of Pakistan's home series and not fulfilling the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they had signed in 2014.
With the political climate between the two nations not set to improve anytime soon it is difficult to foresee any future bilateral series between India and Pakistan and thus the PCB could well rope in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh for their home season which makes sense in every way.
Also, since the BCCI is now being looked after by an interim panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India it would be interesting to see how they respond to the legal notices sent in by the PCB.
PCB has certainly received a major boost after the PSL final and with a renewed vigour they would pitch their interests to both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Also, their stature in the International fraternity would improve as far as hosting International cricket in Pakistan is concerned.
However, these are only initial stages and both the ICC and the PCB would know that the journey to get International cricket back to Pakistan is still a long shot.