CHENNAI: The fate of the Indo-Pak series — which has run into trouble even before talks could be finalised — may be decided in Dubai over the weekend when BCCI president Shashank Manohar meets representatives of Pakistan Cricket Board on the sidelines of an ICC meeting.
According to an MoU signed when N Srinivasan wielded influence in BCCI and ICC, it’s India’s turn to play an away series in UAE. But the new dispensation of BCCI is against the idea and it will take some convincing on part of the PCB to make the series happen.
Members of BCCI felt Manohar is against playing in UAE. “He still thinks UAE is a place of nefarious activities and playing there isn’t prudent because of that. On the other hand, almost every other country plays against Pakistan in UAE. Even we had a part of last year’s IPL over there without hassles. So it’s up to Manohar to decide,” said a BCCI source.
However, with the World T20 scheduled in India next year and talks of Pakistan’s visit drawing adverse reactions in various parts of the country, the PCB can use this as a tool to bargain. If they refuse to tour India citing security concerns, the fate of the tournament might become uncertain.
“With these things in mind, the BCCI or Manohar might have to reconsider. The MoU clearly mentions it’s our turn to visit and like during the IPL, the UAE government has promised all help to keep unwanted elements away. Even the government didn’t object when we had IPL there,” said another source. It’s learnt former ECB chief Giles Clarke is willing to mediate talks between Manohar and PCB.