NEW DELHI: With Sri Lanka all set to turn hosts for the upcoming bilateral series between India and Pakistan next month, the venue has come as a relief for the Pakistan Cricket Board as it also solved the broadcasting rights issue, which could have been a problem.
While sources in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that they are gearing up for the marquee series, they would only come out with a statement once PCB taskforce chairman Giles Clarke makes an official statement.
The Dubai-based broadcasters Ten Sports will be broadcasting the series in India and Pakistan, which will also mean that PCB will not need to compromise on their revenue, which is highly dependant on a series with India.
"Had the series been in India, the broadcasting rights would have gone to Star Sports as they have exclusive rights of covering India's home series. Even if you would have termed it as Pakistan's home series in India, there could have been legal ramifications," a senior BCCI official said today.
"Ten Sports has broadcasting rights of international cricket matches held in Sri Lanka as they are rights holder for the Sri Lankan national cricket team. While Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) has just started in Bangladesh, it was the island nation that was most convenient option for the PCB top brass," the source added.
It is no secret that PCB's multi-million deal with their broadcasters hinges largely on the fact that an India series will be held.
"If India does not play Pakistan in this period than atleast 60 percent of the total bid amount will be reduced by the successful broadcasters," a PCB source said.
So it was no wonder that PCB's last throw of dice was a series in Sri Lanka which would enable Ten Sports to broadcast the series.
The source also said that the undisclosed amount for broadcast rights that PCB had bagged was mainly due to the fact that its international calendar for next five-years included two home series against India on 'neutral' venue.
India has not played a full bilateral Test series against Pakistan since 2007 when Pakistan toured India. Since than although Pakistan toured India for a short one-day series in the winter of 2012-13, the PCB didn't earn anything from it.