A bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan is likely to take place in Sri Lanka from the 15th of December. According to sources, the series has already been cleared from the Pakistani authorities and India is also likely to agree to it as well.
Three ODIs and two T20s between the arch rivals are tentatively scheduled between December 15 and first week of January.
Reports say that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) got a go ahead for the bilateral series from Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before he left for an official tour to Malta.
Meanwhile The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) is also said to have approached the Centre to seek its permission.
It is suspected that India is likely to grant permission for the India-Pak series. Rajeev Shukla, who is the Chairman of Indian Premier League and a Congress MP, made a statement on Thursday that the series between India and Pakistan is likely to begin from December 15.
In Pakistan, PM Nawaz Sharif responded to a letter sent to him by PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan.
According to what sources told PTI, PM Sharif said, “Pakistan should play India in Sri Lanka for a short series”.
Sporting fixtures between India and Pakistan have been called off since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008. The attacks are suspected to have been planned by militants in Pakistan. Pakistan and India have not played a full series since 2007, except for a short tour in India that the Pakistan team took in winter of 2012-13 for a limited-over series.
Both India and Pakistan has been walking a tight rope over the past few months. Talks between both the nations have been frozen since Pakistan’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Sartaj Aziz called off the NSA-level talks in August this year. A row over the agenda of the talks had emerged. India insisted that the talks should only focus on terror and refused to entertain Kashmiri separatists as a third-party to the talks. On the hand, Pakistan said that both the pre-conditions laid by India were unacceptable to them.
The news that the cricket associations of both nations have agreed to resume cricketing ties between them, should bring some relief to the existing tension. Cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir continues to be a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.
According to the cricket agreement between India and Pakistan, “both teams were supposed to play in UAE or at any other neutral venue if the conditions in Pakistan were not suitable”.
“After discussions with BCCI and PCB, both countries have decided to play in Sri Lanka” said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur post the meeting with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and senior official Najam Sethi in presence of ECB supremo and chairman of Pakistan Task Force Giles Clarke on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Sri Lanka emerged as a neutral venue for the planned series which is likely to have three ODIs and two T20s instead of the original five ODIs, two Tests and as many T20 Internationals, tentatively scheduled between December 15 and first week of January.
Last month, talks between PCB chief Shahyar Khan and BCCI chief Shashank Manohar were forced to be cancelled after Shiv Sena activists stormed into the BCCI office in Mumbai, the venue of the meeting. Sena activists threatened of dire consequences if cricketing ties with Pakistan were resumed.
(With inputs from PTI)