Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday reiterated the government's stand on India-Pakistan bilateral cricket, stating that a series was not feasible until cross border terrorism stops. India have not played any bilateral cricket with Pakistan since 2007, although in the winter of 2012-13, Pakistan made a short goodwill tour to India that included three One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals.
The minister's comments were in response to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary saying that India was not averse to playing a bilateral cricket series against Pakistan.
Mr Goel added the BCCI must talk to the Indian government before proceeding with any proposal for such a series.
"BCCI must talk to government first. Bilateral series with Pakistan will be difficult because terror and cricket can't go hand in hand," the minister said, adding, "Pakistan is spreading terrorism in Kashmir, indulging in cross-border terrorism. In these cases, we can't have a bilateral series with them. As far as multi-lateral events are concerned, we have no control over those. So the two countries will continue to play each other in such tournaments."
Earlier this month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sent a legal notice to BCCI claiming US dollars 60 million (Rs 387 crore approx) in damages. It accuses the Indian board of not honouring an agreement to play five cycles of bilateral series between 2015-2023.
Officials of the Indian board, led by Mr Chaudhary will meet the PCB this week in Dubai and explain to them that the series can't be held without government permission. They will also request them to withdraw the case.
"We are not averse to a bilateral series with Pakistan. But everything depends on whether the government gives clearance," Mr Chaudhary said on Monday. "The series will not be possible without approval from the government," he said.
The cash-strapped PCB's finances depend heavily on playing cricket with India. No international cricket has been played in Pakistan since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)