CHENNAI: As first reported by this newspaper on October 16, India’s proposed series against Pakistan will happen only if the neighbours agree to cross the border. On Saturday, the Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shaharyar Khan revealed that Board of Control for Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar had invited them to tour India in December-January and they are not keen on sending the team after protests by Shiv Sena in Mumbai last month.
Instead, the PCB chief said as per the MoU signed between the two boards, it was the BCCI’s duty to honour the commitments and play in UAE. However, board secretary and ruling party MP Anurag Thakur said there is no change in BCCI’s stand and if the series takes place, it will be in India.
“We’ve told them clearly that we want to host the series in India. If they agree to it, then we would approach the central government to take things forward. If PCB doesn’t intend to tour India and want the series to be played in UAE, then we won’t be sending our team,” Thakur told Express.
It is understood that Manohar has even told Shaharyar that the BCCI is ready to share the revenues with the PCB. But the PCB seems to believe they can earn $50 million by hosting the series in UAE and the same won’t be possible if they travel to India. The stand taken by BCCI is not new, as some of the officials believe a bilateral series should happen in one of the two countries and not in a neutral venue where spectators hardly turn up.
The BCCI seems to have told PCB that foolproof security would be provided to the Pakistan team and matches will be allotted to venues where there won’t be trouble. In 2012, BCCI had hosted Pakistan for a short series in December involving three ODIs and two T20s depsite Shiv Sena threatening to disrupt the series.
The PCB’s fears comes on the backdrop of Shiv Sena’s march into the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai last month when they stopped talks between Manohar and Shaharyar Khan. The details of the tour are yet to be finalised.