Newly elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said on Wednesday that he had “not closed any doors” regarding bilateral cricketing ties with India.
“I think that as soon as relations between India and Pakistan improve, the Indian government will permit the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to participate in a bilateral series,” the Dawn quoted Sethi as saying.
Sethi, a veteran journalist and cricket enthusiast, has been elected as the new chairman of the PCB for the next three years.
With the appointment, Sethi has replaced Shaharyar Khan, whose three-year tenure at the post ended on Sunday.
Khan had earlier said that the biggest failure of his three-year tenure at the post was the inability to restore bilateral series between India and Pakistan.
“The biggest failure for me is to not restore the bilateral series between Pakistan and India. In my last tenure [2004-2006], I had succeeded in restoring it and we played thrice with our neighbours,” Khan had said.
“I did my best this time too and also faced a lot of criticism for it as critics termed it ‘begging’. But it was not begging, we were just trying to force the BCCI to fulfill the commitment it had made with us through the MoUs signed with Najam Sethi in 2014,” he added.
In 2014, both Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the PCB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which stated that the two arch-rivals will play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.
According to the agreement, India was scheduled to play six series against Pakistan, four of them were going to be Pakistan’s home series.
While the BCCI has repeatedly snubbed Pakistan’s request for resumption of ties, the PCB wants the Indian cricket board to honour its commitment under the MoU signed, which is subjected to clearance from the Government of India.
Despite not playing a full-fledged bilateral series against Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the arch-rivals have played each other a number of times in the ICC events, with the most recent coming at the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup.
Although, Pakistan did tour India for a short series in December 2012.