President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to India and the comments coming in from the Indian cricket board have seemingly broken the deadlock that blocked the resumption of cricketing ties between the two countries.
As a result, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also welcomed the progress while hoping for a quick resumption to what easily is the biggest rivalry on the cricket field.
According to the Indian media reports, President Zardari, during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, called for the revival of cricketing ties. Singh promised to speak with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the matter.
Revival of international cricket in Pakistan and a resumption of Pakistan-India ties were the two points high on PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf’s to-do list when he took charge late last year. However, after receiving a cold shoulder several times from the BCCI, Ashraf stopped talking about the series and went on to say that India were afraid of playing Pakistan.
However, following the meeting, Ashraf was excited at the development and hoped for a quick revival.
“It’s a big development,” Ashraf told The Express Tribune. “I also saw reports about talks on a series-revival and we welcome the news.”
Meanwhile, the PCB chief also welcomed remarks from the BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla who raised hopes of Pakistan’s participation in the IPL, saying that India were not against ‘Pakistan or Pakistan players’. The senior official said the BCCI was in touch with the PCB and was optimistic on a revival of the series.
Shukla also gave hopes for Pakistan’s inclusion in the Champions League as well as players’ returning to the IPL if a resumption of the bilateral series takes place.
“The revival is very important for the cricket boards as well as the fans from both the countries,” said Ashraf. “Not only cricket, it will help bring the nations closer.”
“The revival is very important for the cricket boards as well as the fans from both the countries. Not only cricket, it will help bring the nations closer.”
“Everything is tied to the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two countries. Once that happens, I think everything will happen automatically.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.