Rajeev Shukla, Vice-President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has abolished the rumours of a bilateral series being organized between India and Pakistan later this year.
According to a report in GeoSuper.tv, the Pakistan Cricket Board has been told to ‘be prepared for a T20I bilateral series between the two Asian giants.
“We’ve been told to be prepared,” the official was quoted as saying by Daily Jang.
However, Rajeev Shukla has openly confirmed that such news is nothing but false rumors. Shukla says that two nations cannot engage in a bilateral series unless their governments allow it.
“No such discussion has taken place within the board. Our stand has been the same in the last ten years. Unless we get approval from the government, we can’t have a bilateral series with Pakistan,” Rajeev Shukla told Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran.
Since 2007 only once have India and Pakistan competed in a bilateral series. Pakistan toured India for 2 T20Is – ended 1-1 – and a 3-match ODI series – the visitors won 2-1 – in 2012/13; otherwise, the sides face each other only in the ICC tournaments, and the Asia Cup.
The arch-rivals are supposed to meet each other in the Asia Cup this year– however, with Virat Kohli’s side reaching the final of the World Test Championship, the Asia Cup may get scrapped this year. That would mean that the next game of the two countries could be in the T20 World Cup in India.
Relations between the two countries can improve because of cricket: Shahid Afridi
Former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi opines that the tension between the two countries can be mended with the help of cricket. Afridi asserts that sport and politics should be kept away from each other and that the relationships can improve if bilateral games resume between the Men in Green and the Men in Blue.
“Cricket between Pakistan and India is very important. Sports should be kept away from politics. Relations between the two countries can improve because of cricket,” Shahid Afridi told ‘Cricket Pakistan’.
“I have said this before as well, Indian cricketers enjoy coming to Pakistan. You can improve relationships through sports but if you don’t want to improve them then they will remain the same way,” the former all-rounder added.