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BCCI allows India women's team to play against Pakistan?

Last updated on: November 17, 2016 17:31 IST

'India said it had reservations over playing with us in bilalteral series but would play in ICC events.'

Indian cricket fans with their faces painted with national flags of India (left) and PakistanIndia have agreed to play against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Women's Asia Cup T20 tournament scheduled to be held in Thailand from November 25, Pakistan Cricket Board sources said on Thursday.

There was uncertainty over the the match after Board of Control for Cricket in India president Anurag Thakur had said that he would ask the International Cricket Council not to schedule the encounters between India and Pakistan in group stages of its events due to political and diplomatic tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

But a source in the PCB told PTI that India has agreed to play Pakistan in ICC events if required.

"We took this up very strongly at the last ICC meeting in Capetown and India said it had reservations over playing with us in bilalteral series but would play in ICC events," the source said.

He said in the meeting Pakistan delegation head Najam Sethi had submitted newspaper clippings and video recordings of Thakur's statements on Indo-Pak cricket ties. Sethi made the point passionately at the ICC meeting that while Pakistan had always advocated the need of keeping politics and sports apart, BCCI president Thakur's statements were political.

"Sethi clearly asked Thakur at the meeting whether or not his statements were not political ones on Indo-Pak relations and he should be very clear on whether India wanted to play with Pakistan in the group or knockout stages of ICC events in future," the source disclosed.

The source said that Thakur had indicated to the ICC that India will have no issues to play against Pakistan in ICC events but could not commit on bilateral ties at the moment as it entirely depends on getting the government's go ahead.

"As a result it is clear that India will play us in the Women's Asia Cup T20 and Champions Trophy," he said.

Sethi later also had an informal discussion with Thakur on the sidelines of the meeting.

The source said that the ICC had also asked Pakistan in writing whether it had any issues playing India in the women's league cricket competitions and the PCB had made it clear it is even prepared to play India in the series in the United Arab Emirates in October but India had pulled out at the last moment.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand are the participating teams in the Women's Asia Cup T20 tournament.

The Pakistan women's team will reach Thailand directly from New Zealand.

Image: Cricket fans of India and Pakistan.

Photograph: Pawan Kumar/Reuters

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