Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday said that there could be no cricketing ties between India and Pakistan until cross-border terrorism ended. Goel called the idea of having an India-Pakistan bilateral series almost “impossible” and asked the Indian cricket board to consult the government before sending any proposal to Pakistan.
“India and Pakistan can’t play bilateral series till the terror from Pakistan remains,” Goel said. “I have made it clear that bilateral cricket with Pakistan is not possible till the time there is cross-border terror. We have, however, no say on multilateral events [ICC tournaments].”
India and Pakistan will face each other in their ICC Champions Trophy group match on June 4. The tournament, being held in England, begins on June 1.
There have been multiple efforts from both the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Pakistan Cricket Board to organise a bilateral series between India and Pakistan over the past few years. However, political tensions between the two countries have not allowed a series to take place.
Top BCCI and PCB officials will meet in Dubai later today to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two nations, reported The Times of India. The MoU was signed in 2014. A member of the CoA will also be present at the meeting.
Amitabh Chaudhary, acting BCCI secretary, said a bilateral series with Pakistan can only be possible if the Indian cricket board received the go-ahead from the government, reported India Today. “We are not averse to a bilateral series with Pakistan,” Chaudhary said. “But everything depends on whether the government gives the clearance.”
Earlier, the BCCI was sent a legal notice by PCB, asking for damages worth $60 million (Rs 388 crore approximately) for not honouring the MoU. According to the MoU, India and Pakistan were supposed to conduct five bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.
The Times of India reported that Chaudhary could request the PCB to withdraw the case. However, BCCI will not be paying PCB any compensation if they refused to change their stance.