‘Keep cricket and politics apart’

indiapakistanflagsLAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shaharyar Khan on Wednesday asked the BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur for an update on a proposed series between the arch rivals in December this year.
A series of two Tests, five ODIs and one Twenty20 between India and Pakistan in United Arab Emirates is shrouded in uncertainty as the political tensions between the two have mounted following the collapse of the NSA-level talks which were scheduled for August 23.

After frequent ceasefire violations at the LoC, Pakistan accused India of killing nine civilians on the border last week, barely a week after talks were called off.

The two countries have not played a full series against each other since 2007, though Pakistan toured India for a short series in December 2012.

“I have written a letter to Mr Thakur, in the main saying that cricket and politics should be kept apart,” Shaharyar Khan told AFP.

I am positive that the BCCI shall be able to convince the Indian government that it ought to honour its MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the PCB,” he added.

Last year PCB and BCCI had signed a MoU under which they were scheduled to play six series in the 2015-2023 Future Tours Programme, but all were subject to clearance from New Delhi.

Khan, a former foreign secretary and a diplomat, said that strained relations should not affect cricket. “While relations between Pakistan and India have seen its share of ups and downs, cricket should be kept out of it,” he said.

Thakur has previously said that the countries’ cricket teams should not meet while relations between the neighbours remain fraught, saying cricket cannot be played with bullets.

“On one hand there is a rise in terrorist activity, on the other you can’t expect to play a cricket series with Pakistan,” Thakur said in July.

But last week Thakur softened his stance, telling a private television channel in Pakistan that a series was possible.

“If situation improves I cannot rule out cricket series in December,” Thakur said.

“I toured Pakistan in 2004 and was overwhelmed, and when Pakistan toured India the following year I distributed sweets on their captain’s (Inzamam-ul-Haq) birthday.” – From HindustanTimes

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