New Delhi: A miffed PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan yesterday conceded that the prospects of an Indo-Pak bilateral cricket series are "very low" as "pressures" were preventing the BCCI from taking any initiative on the issue.
Khan said that it was unfair to keep the Pakistan Cricket Board waiting for so long and that he would seek no further meetings with the BCCI officials. Khan, who was here in Delhi, hoping to meet some top government ministers and officials in a bid to resume cricketing ties with India, said the Indian Board has not responded to the initiative taken by him.
"I am not optimistic (about the series) now after what has happened here because obviously there are pressures here. As of now, the chances are very low. I am not going to make any effort now," Khan told reporters here without specifying what he meant by pressures. "There are no further meetings now. Once we have a clear
idea that the series won't happen then we will see all options. Taali do haath se bajti hai (It takes two hands to clap)," he said.
Elaborating on the entire sequence of events since his arrival in the country, Khan said he came on BCCI chief Shashank Manohar's invitation. "He (Manohar) was gracious and wanted to talk. He asked would you come to Mumbai for a chat.
He said come on Monday that is yesterday. I said fine, I will be in Mumbai on Sunday night. As you know half an hour before we were to meet, I got a message from the BCCI that we will delay the talks, then came another message," he said referring to the Shiv Sena activists' storming of the BCCI headquarters yesterday.
"So I sat back, I was not in any danger. So that meeting was cancelled. I waited till evening if there was any rescheduled meeting but there was no indication from the
BCCI," he added. Khan was in the capital today and met IPL Chairman Rajeev Shhukla at his residence.
"I came here and the idea was to meet other people and
engage with BCCI. But there has been no word from BCCI on how they intend to move forward. So I am now going home because it is very clear that there are pressures here that are preventing BCCI.
So I am going and no meeting now. I met Shukla ji because I know him for several years meeting him is not meeting the BCCI," he explained. Although disappointed with the BCCI's response, Khan said he never threatened to boycott the World Twenty20 in India next year. "I never used the word boycott. Once we have a clear idea
that the series won't happen then we will see all options.
I have no other plan, I am gong home now. No response from the BCCI was given to me. There is no direct communication from BCCI," he said. Earlier, Khan met Shukla at his residence in what was described as a "courtesy call" in the backdrop of the furore surrounding talks for a possible resumption of Indo-Pak bilateral cricket ties.
The PCB chief was to hold talks with BCCI President Shashank Manohar in Mumbai yesterday but the plan had to be aborted after angry Shiv Sena activists stormed the Board office to protest any move to resume cricketing ties between the neighbours. They shouted slogans inside Manohar's office.
"It was a courtesy call, we exchanged pleasantries, there were no official talks. Whatever talks happen will be done by the BCCI President, he will take a final call on these matters," Shukla said after meeting Khan. "The series, whether it will happen or not, where it will happen, how it will happen, will be decided only after talks, if at all the talks take place.
"We should not jump to conclusions. Process of dialogue should be on. When that dialogue will happen is upto the BCCI President," he said. Khan had landed in Mumbai yesterday with his PCB colleague Najam Sethi, who left the country after Sena's protests. It was Manohar, who had invited Khan for talks on the
There was speculation that the two neighbours would play either a bilateral series in the UAE or agree to a possible triangular series in December also involving Bangladesh. However, the series seems highly unlikely after BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said that conditions have to improve to hold talks and only then a bilateral series could be a possibility.