Pakistan-India cricket ties to get a boost with PM’s visit

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New Delhi, India (4E Sports) – Bilateral cricket relationship between India and Pakistan will be given an added boost with the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Monday’s swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as PM.

“Whenever the heads of two countries meet, every domain improves. Our Prime Minister has a great passion for cricket. He was himself a first class cricketer,” Amjad Hussain, Director, Media Coordination and Implementation, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said.

“He has deep interest in the game. Of course, cricket will absolutely be among his priorities,” added Hussain.

India last hosted Pakistan in a Test series in 2007 before the Mumbai attacks the following year led to the cancellation of bilateral matches.

Matches between the two teams have effectively been reduced to International Cricket Council tournaments after the terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

After the attack, the Pakistan and the Indian board refused to play bilateral games at a neutral venue. The BCCI did host Pakistan for a short limited over series in India in January, 2013, after clearance by the Indian government.

The PCB has announced that it has signed an MoU with BCCI to stage six series between 2015 and 2023 although the Indian board is yet to confirm.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said improved political atmosphere should help cricket ties too but the board would be strictly guided by the government.

“India-Pakistan cricket is usually subject to certain directions that are provided by the government,” he said. It is clear the board would watch the political developments to assess the situation. “We would always like to go with the government policy,” Patel said.

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