Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) newly-appointed managing director Wasim Khan believes there is very little chance of bilateral cricket ties resuming between India and Pakistan in the coming days. However, he feels it is high time to chalk out a new strategy so that the fierce rivals start playing against each other once again.
The arch-rivals have not played a full bilateral Test series since 2007 when Pakistan 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 the Asia Cup.
Not very long ago, the PCB had sued the BCCI on the ground that the latter did not honour the MoU signed in 2014. The boards had signed the MoU for six bilateral series to be played between 2015 and 2023 with Pakistan hosting four of them. However, the BCCI claimed that they were not legally bound to play Pakistan as they had not signed any deal. A miffed PCB then attempted to claim damages worth USD 63 million from the BCCI. But in November last year, the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee rejected the PCB’s claim that the BCCI’s failure to honour an agreement to play bilateral series in 2014 and 2015 was a legal breach.
The BCCI, meanwhile, has also not kept Pakistan in its Future Tour Programmed for 2019-2023 cycles, snubbing the neighbouring country amongst its six proposed opponents for the World Test Championship beginning in 2019.
With the signs not promising at the moment, Wasim Khan admitted that the board does not have any solution. He further said that Pakistan should think of a way which would make India wanting to play with them.
“It’s a massive challenge,” Wasim said. “And I don’t think we’re going to see any solutions anytime soon. I think elections are going on in India, so nothing is going to happen in the near future. But, we are trying and [PCB chairman] Ehsan [Mani] is trying hard to get them to the table and get things moving.
“We keep on asking them to play us but let’s create a situation where they ask us to play. I think we need to do that. It’s sad that we are not playing against them but life continues. We need to move forward and carry on. We can’t wait forever to play India. Our focus is to develop Pakistan cricket and get our team and players a lot of success at the international level,” he added.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani also agreed with Wasim Khan’s views, saying:
“Until it’s not done (elections in India) there is no point in engaging them at this stage because we have to start over with new people in the BCCI,” Mani said. “But our relations with the Indian board are very good and we have mutual respect but we won’t be imploring them to play us. If we will take Pakistan cricket to a level where we are among the top three teams in the world, they will come on their own to play with us.
India and Pakistan, meanwhile, will next lock horns against each other in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019. They last played together in the 2018 Asia Cup.