- 'BCCI is standing firm that they will respect the MoU signed with Pakistan, but they need permission from the recently elected government.'
- I am doing everything to convince the governments to allow this series but the present political relations will have an influence and we don't know what the situation will be in the next six months: PCB chief Khan
Amid speculation over the resumption of India-Pakistan cricketing ties, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan on Monday admitted that the planned series between the two nations in the United Arab Emirates in December is in 'real danger' and said that he plans to travel to India next month to discuss the issue with his Indian counterparts.
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The former diplomat told a media conference in Lahore that he plans to meet with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's officials and other government officials to discuss the scheduled series.
"There is a real danger at this time to the series. But I plan to go to India to get a clear answer on the prospects of the matches being held in December," Khan said.
He pointed out that the PCB is very keen to follow the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two Boards to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2022 after the new governance system took place in the International Cricket Council.
"I want to have frank discussions with the relevant officials in India because we can't delay preparations for too long and we need to know where we stand," he said.
Khan said the positive aspect of the whole episode is that the BCCI is also ready to play the series but are waiting for a confirmation from their government.
"BCCI is standing firm that they will respect the MoU signed with Pakistan, but they need permission from the recently elected government," the PCB chief said.
Khan, who was a high commissioner in New Delhi and also foreign secretary, also admitted that the present political relations between the two countries could have a bearing on the series.
"I am doing everything to convince the governments to allow this series but the present political relations will have an influence and we don't know what the situation will be in the next six months," he said.
Khan pointed out that many former greats, the PCB and even the international cricket community are of the opinion that Pakistan and India should play regular bilateral cricket. "The PCB stance remains sports and politics should be kept apart."
Shaharyar also talked about the BCCI having some reservations over the broadcasters of the series if it is held, with the Dubai-based Ten Sports, which has a long term contract with the PCB for broadcasting international home matches.
"We can't do anything about this issue because we placed an open tender and Ten Sports won the broadcasting rights. But we have conveyed to our broadcasters our views about their alleged involvement in any rebel league and the bearing it could have on the existing contract."
The PCB chief also said that during his stay in the United Kingdom he had held some very productive talks with the officials of associate cricket boards. Teams of some associate nations are ready to visit Pakistan prior to the World T20 in India next year.
"In the next few weeks, we will finalise the plan of all the countries who will tour Pakistan who are willing to come stopover and play some matches on their way to the World Cup," he added.