A desperate PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan today said that Pakistan is ready to send its national cricket team to India for a bilateral series despite reluctance from their Indian counterparts (BCCI). Shaharyar also indicated that Pakistan might eventually tour Bangladesh in July-August and confirmed that the Bangladesh Cricket Board had sent them a tentative itinerary for the tour. “The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) would be willing to even send the team to play in India but unfortunately the situation is that the BCCI is not even ready to play with us in their own country citing security threats,” he said at a function at the Karachi Press Club here.
“We would be willing to play in India despite security threats,” he added. Shaharyar’s statement comes after the PCB has sent a notice of intent to the BCCI seeking compensation for the India’s refusal to honour the MOU signed between the two boards in 2014 to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. India and Pakistan have not played a full bilateral series since the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 but in the winter of 2012-13 Pakistan went to India for a short limited over series as a goodwill gesture hoping India would also reciprocate.
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The PCB chief said that even the International Cricket Council (ICC) wanted bilateral ties to resume between the two countries as an Indo-Pak series commands a special place in world cricket. He said whenever the two countries play it ensures massive generation of revenues and even the ICC knows this.
“A series between Pakistan and India generates the most revenue, even the ICC accepts that,” Shaharyar said while addressing the media. He said the PCB would keep its window open for the scheduled series with India in December, 2017 as part of the MOU but it was a fact that India’s refusal to play Pakistan had hurt the PCB financially.
Shaharyar, who had earlier announced that Pakistan would not be touring Bangladesh for a scheduled series in July, said that the BCB had sent them the tentative itinerary.
“We will sit down and look into it but we have said that we have been to Bangladesh twice or thrice now in last few years and they have not come to play with us since 2008,” he said.
He also said that the PCB had plans for stalwarts, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan following their retirement from international cricket after the third Test against the West Indies currently underway in Dominica.
“I will be speaking to them when I go to Birmingham for the Champions Trophy and I will first ask them for their consent to the proposals we have for them,” Shaharyar said.
Shaharyar also rejected claims from the lawyer of suspended Pakistani batsmen Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan that that PCB is applying pressure on them to make a deal.
“There is a legal case against them and if admitting their mistake would benefit them, the Board will always encourage its players to do so,” he said.