Giles Clarke advises Pakistan to stay calm regarding Pak-India series matter

LAHORE: England Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Giles Clarke has advised Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to rush the decision regarding cricket series with India after the Pakistani board reportedly contacted him on the matter, sources told Neo News on Thursday. Meanwhile, PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan said chances of the bilateral series were diminishing with every passing moment as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was yet to get green signal from its government. Speaking during an informal interaction with media representatives here, he added that they were however ready to wait for the Indian decision for further three to four days. Khan said apparently India was not ready to play against Pakistan, adding it would be disappointing if the former failed to honour its commitment. The PCB chief had said yesterday that his hopes for the series had been dashed after a visit to Islamabad by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj failed to yield any breakthrough. The PCB had hoped Swaraj’s visit on Tuesday and Wednesday would open the way for a limited short over series, agreed between the two boards and due to be played in Sri Lanka. But cricket was not reportedly discussed during Swaraj’s talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, while she made no reference to the series in a brief statement on Wednesday evening.

Any chance of a series is “over”, Shahryar Khan said, adding that the foreign office had conveyed to him that without talks on the cricket it would be “difficult” to arrange any series. The two cricket boards agreed to break the deadlock by signing a Memorandum of Understanding last year under which they were due to play six series between 2015 and 2023, all subject to clearance from their respective governments. The first series, originally due to be played in United Arab Emirates in December-January, was comprised of two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 matches, but it ran into trouble over strained relations between the two countries since the start of 2015.

Last month the two boards agreed to play a short limited over series of three one-day and two Twenty20 internationals in Sri Lanka after their heads met in Dubai, leaving the final decision to their respective governments. Islamabad gave a go ahead to the series on November 26 but have been awaiting clearance from New Delhi ever since. Khan has said the series could have netted Pakistan $50 million (five billion rupees).


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