Pakistan “Home Series”  must not be played in India: Sethi

LAHORE:The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Executive Committee, Najam Sethi, has rejected the idea of staging Pakistan’s ‘home series’ in India, reiterating that it was time the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) honoured the agreement signed between the two countries last year.“We visited India in 2007 and 2012 and we did not get a single penny for it. It’s now time for the BCCI to reciprocate and honour its commitment of playing a bilateral series in UAE,” Sethi told reporters in Lahore on Friday.On Tuesday, BCCI chief Shashank Manohar suggested a limited-over series with Pakistan, comprising five one-day and two Twenty20 internationals, but clearly stated that the Indian team would not be travelling to Pakistan or UAE for the matches.“We are committed to playing Pakistan in December. However, since it’s not possible to play them in Pakistan or the UAE, we have to look at playing the series in Northern India in December,” Manohar said.The suggestion agitated Sethi and the former PCB chairman said he would advise the board not to heed to the ‘unreasonable demand’ of the BCCI.“If we get a formal proposal suggesting that the series be played in India, I would categorically reject it and advise the board of governors to not accept any such offers,” Sethi, who was the chairman of the PCB when an agreement on bilateral series was signed between Pakistan and India, said.

India and Pakistan signed an agreement to play a total of six series – four hosted by Pakistan and the other two by India – on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in Melbourne last year. According to the deal the first series of was scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan in UAE this December but prospects look bleak after political tensions between the two countries.Sethi had then claimed that Pakistan would earn $450 million in the next eight years, mainly from hosting four series to be played with arch-rivals India.“According to our deal, the series was supposed to be played in UAE. Why should we play in India? Pakistan should not make the same mistake for the third time,” Sethi said while clarifying that his statement was a ‘personal opinion’ in an apparent shot at BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s T20 captain, Shahid Afridi, his should go to India and play a series only after the PCB gets written assurance of revenue sharing from its Indian counterpart.“We can go and play in India but I back the stance of the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan that we first need written guarantees from the Indian board about everything,” Afridi said.“I remember the last time we went to India in 2012-13, they (BCCI) earned in crores of rupees and we got nothing,” Afridi said.“But this time if the Indian board gives in writing they will give revenues to Pakistan if the series is held in India, than it can be done.”


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