Board of Control for Cricket in India Unlikely to Get Government Nod to Play Pakistan in Sri Lanka
Board of Control for Cricket in India and Pakistan Cricket Board had planned a short limited-overs bilateral series in December. The arch-rivals have not played a full bilateral series since 2007.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is unlikely to get a formal clearance from the Union government to play Pakistan in a limited-overs series in Sri Lanka next month, according to sources.
Government is likely to turn down BCCI's request for the clearance of the series because it feels the atmosphere is not conducive to restore cricketing ties.
The Pakistan government had given its approval to its cricket Board on Thursday to play India in 'neutral' Sri Lanka. Reportedly, India and Pakistan were scheduled to play three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals from December 15.
In recent weeks, India and Pakistan had differed over the venue of the series. While Pakistan were adamant that India should play at their adopted 'home', United Arab Emirates, BCCI wanted Pakistan to visit India. (Let's Keep Cricket Separate From Politics: Rajeev Shukla)
According to the ICC Future Tours Programme, the original schedule involved two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals.
As per a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2014, India and Pakistan are scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, with four series to be hosted by Pakistan. Of course, all cricket series between the neighbours need approvals from their respective governments. (Shoaib Akhtar Hopeful of India-Pakistan Series in December)
Meanwhile, BCCI sources blame ex-Board president N. Srinavasan for signing the MoU to gain Pakistan's support to become ICC chairman.
Pakistan and India last clashed in the ICC World Cup Down Under earlier this year. However, Pakistan toured India in 2012-13 for three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals. While Pakistan won the ODIs 2-1, honours were shared in the Twenty20s. If India do not honour the MoU, Pakistan could go to an international court for justice. (Not Hosting India-Pakistan Series for Monetary Benefits: Sri Lanka Cricket Board Official)
(With inputs from Akhilesh Sharma)