CHENNAI: The suspense over the resumption of India-Pakistan series seems to be nearing its end. On a day Board of Control for Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar met Pakistan Cricket Board president Shaharyar Khan and CEO Najam Sethi, it has emerged that the two nations have agreed to play three ODIs and two T20s in Bangladesh in the latter half of December.
Manohar, who has gone to Dubai to officially take charge as the chairman of the International Cricket Council, was originally supposed to meet Shaharyar on Saturday. But that didn’t happen and it looked the series won’t go ahead. But on Sunday, Giles Clarke — who is the head of the Pakistan Task Force appointed by ICC — mediated the talks between the boards. Manohar had insisted on Pakistan playing in India but that proposal was shot down by Shaharyar as Nawaz Sharif-led government was against sending the side across the border in the current political situation.
With the option of India hosting the series ruled out, it is understood that the BCCI was still willing to honour the MoU signed between the two boards in 2014 and asked the PCB to select a “home venue” which is acceptable for both parties. By doing so, the BCCI virtually ruled out UAE as an option and explored the possibility of playing in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka are touring New Zealand in December and the grounds would be free to utilise, but Bangladesh seems to have been preferred, keeping in mind the attraction it would generate among the spectators. “Bangladesh is the best option for us at the moment as you will definitely get the fans. Fans can relate to both the sides and barring any intervention from government levels, the series should happen in Bangladesh,” sources in the know how told Express.
With only a small window available, hosting a Test match has been ruled out and details are yet to be worked out with Bangladesh Cricket Board.