File image of Indian Captain Rohit Sharma and Pakistani Captain Babar Azam© AFP
The England and Wales Cricket Board has informally offered to be the hosts if India and Pakistan plan to play a bilateral Test series, but BCCI sources said the chances of that happening in the near future are “near nil.” “is. British daily Telegraph reported that “Martin Darlow, the deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has been in talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board during the current Twenty20 series and has offered England’s grounds as an ideal site for a test series of three games in the future.” While the ECB has made the offer for its own commercial gains, the BCCI’s powers laughed at the suggestions and said such opportunities would at least not arise for years to come.
“First ECB spoke to PCB about an Indo-Pak series and that’s a bit weird. In any case, a series against Pakistan is not something the BCCI will decide, but it is the decision of the government. It remains the same. We play only against Pakistan in multi-team events,” a senior BCCI official familiar with India’s position told PTI on Tuesday.
India and Pakistan last played a short bilateral white-ball series in 2012 in India and the last test series dates back to 2007.
With the tense political relations between the neighbours, it is a big ‘no’ from BCCI, whether it is played at home, away or at a neutral venue.
The paper details exactly why the ECB made the “generous offer”.
“The matches would draw large crowds in the UK, which has a large ex-pat South Asian population,” it said.
“The games attract huge sponsorship income and television viewers.” However, the paper made it clear that even “PCB India does not want to play in a neutral venue, but is grateful for the ECB’s offer, which demonstrates the growing relationship between the two boards.” It stated that with the major countries touring Pakistan again, it will be an “obsolete step in their eyes” if they happen to play in a neutral venue.
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