A series in limbo: Indian refusal and dialogue resumption    
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A series in limbo: Indian refusal and dialogue resumption    

 

indo pak

The bilateral series between India and Pakistan, scheduled to take place in December, remains in limbo even after a meeting between senior officials of both governments. India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was in Islamabad and held talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday. But it is understood that cricket was not among the topics discussed. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, however, had been under the impression that resuming cricketing ties would be on the agenda, and the fact that it wasn’t has put serious doubts in his mind over the series going though. “We are already late, but this is something which is beyond our control,” he said. “I am disappointed that cricket didn’t make into the discussion but we are still unclear about the status of the series. I don’t know what is going to happen but given the delay and silence I understand it’s a no after all from them.” More doubts were cast when BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, who is also an MP with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said cricketing relations cannot resume until there is political stability between the two countries. These, however, were his personal views and he clarified that he would comply with whatever decision the Indian government or the BCCI took. enior PCB officials have hinted in the recent past that they might pull the team out of the event because of the prevailing anti-Pakistan sentiment in some parts of India. Publicly, they say that if Pakistan decides to withdraw from the World Twenty20 it will be on government’s advice and the reason will be security fears. But privately, they admit that such a move will have to do more with the tit-for-tat tradition that marks political and sporting relations between the two neighbours. The PCB must be well aware of the fact that boycotting a major ICC event like the World Twenty20 will do more harm than good to the cause of Pakistan cricket. Pakistani officials have been insisting on resuming bilateral cricketing ties with India primarily because ‘home’ games against their arch-rivals can fetch guaranteed profits that run into tens of millions of dollars. In the words of Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, Pakistan stands to lose at least $50 million if the bilateral series against India does not take place. The problem with the cash-strapped PCB is that if it pulls out of the World Twenty20 it will lose millions of dollars – its share from the profits of the money-spinning tournament. But that is only part of the board’s problem. There is growing debate in Pakistan on whether we should go and play in India after what the Indians have done to us. Popular opinion suggests that if the Indians are being so rigid then we should also give them the thumbs down and withdraw from the World Twenty20 championship. Pakistan’s boycott will certainly take the sheen off the tournament considering that the Indo-Pak pool game pencilled in for March 19 in Dharamsala is already being touted as the match of the tournament. However, the thing to understand is that the tournament will go on even if Pakistan chooses not to play. Its projected profit might take a bit of a hit but that would be the ICC’s loss because it owns the championship. The Indians are just hosting it. Whether to send our team to India or not is a major dilemma for PCB chiefs; they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. A dispassionate view on the entire issue would be that Pakistan will have to think twice before taking any extreme action. Pulling out of the event could be like cutting our own nose to spite our face.

pk.shafaqna.com

Categories:   Pakistan ، Sport ،
Tags:   pakistan ، India ، PCB ، Sartaj Aziz ، Islamabad ،
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Press agenda on July 23

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