The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has termed Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent trip to the country a huge boost towards revival of bilateral series between the two countries.
Pakistan and India have not played in a bilateral series for over three years as tension increased following the Mumbai attacks in 2008.
However, Khar’s visit to India, where she emphasised the revival of cricketing ties and termed the game as a means of bridging the gap between the two arch-rivals, has been taken as the first step towards the development.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which has suffered huge financial losses due to India’s refusal to play the country, also made several attempts but has received a cold shoulder from their counterparts.
But the prospect of cricket’s great rivalry emerged with new International Cricket Council Future Tours Programme (FTP) that includes a window for a full-fledged series between Pakistan and India in March-April next year.
As the PCB itches to confirm the series, the foreign minister’s visit that coincided with the board’s efforts seemed to have done wonders.
A senior official of the BCCI said that revival of ties was on the cards.
“It was a positive development,” BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla told The Express Tribune. “The foreign minister met me and urged to find ways for revival of cricket between the two countries. We appreciate her keen interest in the matter and such developments are always important in a situation like this and we hope it will yield positive results.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.