Nawaz Sharif

PM gives go-ahead to PCB to finalise series with India in Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave the green signal on Thursday to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to play the Pakistan, India cricket series in Sri Lanka.

“Given the current security situation, PCB should hold short series with India at a third location,” a PM House statement said quoting the premier.

The PM House wrote a letter to the board granting them permission for the series and directing them to carefully view the security situation as well.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had written to the premier earlier, seeking permission to play the series in a neutral venue like Sri Lanka.

Shahryar had said the final decision of the Pakistan, India series lay with the premier as he directed the board to not to take any decision without the government’s advice.

“Now the matter is political because the advice from the PM is that the final decision will be made by the government only,” the PCB chairman had said.

“We have put that before the BCCI,” he added.

“We always wanted this series to happen right from the start, If India is not accepting what they have signed in the MoU then if doesn’t happen then so be it.”

“We have said that we won’t play in India and have also given out reasons. Now the matter has become political. Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) has said that he wants to take the final call on the series. PCB won’t decide on the series anymore. We have put PCB’S stand before the PM and the BCCI,” Khan told the reporters on Friday.

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka offered itself as a neutral venue for a proposed series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan to break a deadlock over where to play the matches.

The island nation emerged as a likely solution after crisis talks at the weekend between the two rivals in Dubai failed to end the stalemate.

Pakistan and India are scheduled to play two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 matches in United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month but the series is under serious doubt after a deadlock between the two boards.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) last week invited Pakistan to play the matches on their grounds but the PCB insisted the series should be held in UAE, under the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year.

The six series between 2015 to 2023 — four to be hosted by Pakistan — were all subject to clearance from the respective governments.

Khan said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) president Giles Clarke is also supporting the series.

“Clarke believes that a Pakistan-India series is vital for the game and he is also talking to the BCCI chief and I have told him that he has no need to convince us, convince the BCCI.”


NEO Web Desk

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