Two cricketing giants of the Asian subcontinent – India and Pakistan – are facing bleak prospects of resuming their cricket ties, with the current political situation taking precedence over the sports. The possibility of two playing the much anticipated bilateral series later this year faced a blow when the Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz opined that he saw “no chance” of the revival of ties between the arch-rivals under “the current situation”.
“I see no chance of cricket between Pakistan and India under the current situation,” Sartaj Aziz told the press in Islamabad adding that the two countries must stress on the “need to make the situation favourable for cricket and other things.”
The high ranking octogenarian official in the Pakistan establishment spoke on the touchy issue, even as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is awaiting a final response from their Indian counterparts on a series due to be played in December-January in United Arab Emirates.
“Our board (the PCB) is in contact with Indian officials on cricket so they are in a better position to tell the exact situation but I am not very hopeful,” Aziz added.
Just last week, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had returned from India after meeting the bereaved family of former BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya. Mr. Khan, on his part, had said that he will be meeting the new BCCI chief in the coming week in Dubai on the sidelines of the ICC meeting to discuss the planned series in the UAE.
India gave its nod to play six Test series with Pakistan between 2015-2023 after the PCB agreed to reforms to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s governing body, last year which gave hefty powers, and revenues, to cricket’s big three — India, Australia and England. But all the series are subject to clearance from the respective governments.
India called off most sporting fixtures between the two countries after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were planned by militants in Pakistan, though they did play limited-over series in 2012.
Relations between the two arch-rivals have suffered off-late due to the repeated instances of ceasefire violations at the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) and the cancellation of talks between national security advisors in August.
(With inputs from the PTI)