With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) maintaining its stance on not resuming bilateral ties with Pakistan by not including any series against the arch-rivals in the Future Tour Programme (FTP) for 2019-2023, the Pakistan Cricket Board has made clear its displeasure as well.
Due to escalating political tensions, both the countries have not played a full bilateral Test series since 2007 when Pakistan last visited India for three Tests and five One-Day Internationals. They played a short series of three ODIs and two T20s in India in December 2012, but otherwise, both have faced each other only in the ICC organised events or in the Asia Cup.
The PCB, however, is adamant on resuming bilateral ties with India to honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two boards in 2014. As per the deal, the two countries were set to play six senior series between 2014-2023, subject to clearance from the government.
However, the Indian government has not given the green light to the BCCI to resume bilateral ties with Pakistan, and consequently, the Indian cricket board has not been able to honour the MoU.
The PCB, however, is not taking BCCI’s FTP kindly, expressing a strong objection to it and has made it clear it would not sign on the document unless India agrees to play Pakistan during the 2019-2023 cycle. The Pakistan cricket board has already approached the ICC and initiated a Dispute Resolution Process against the BCCI for not honouring its commitment to playing Pakistan.
“The PCB has also informed the ICC that it has initiated a dispute resolution process against the BCCI under the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee Terms of Reference,” a PCB release said. “Further to that, the PCB’s claim is based on an existing agreement with the BCCI which contemplates that India will tour Pakistan in December 2019, August 2020 and Nov-Dec 2022 and Pakistan will tour India in Nov-Dec 2021,” it added.
But despite the PCB threatening to take legal actions, the BCCI is in no mood to soften its stance, saying India would not play Pakistan outside ICC events unless Indian government approves it.
“It is something which…it is a question which is embedded not in the matrix of cricket alone. That is publicly recognised. Unless you put together all factors that determine an event, it is futile attempting to answer that question,” the BCCI’s acting secretary, Amitabh Chaudhary was quoted as saying by the ESPNcricinfo.
Chaudhary also said the BCCI could make a window for the series against Pakistan if it gets permission from the authority.
“If we could manoeuvre our calendar after having made space for a proposed tour of Pakistan, I am sure depending on the new situation, new ways will be found,” he said.