Karachi: A senior Indian cricket official Rajeev Shukla has insisted that the planned bilateral series between Pakistan and India in December was still on and not derailed.
Rajeev Shukla. Pic/ Santosh Nagwekar
He also insisted that the Pakistan Cricket Board delegation that visited Mumbai earlier this week had been given proper hospitality by the Indian cricket board. Shukla's comments came one day after PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan told a news conference in Lahore that chances of the series being held in December were very remote.
Shaharyar said on his return from India on Wednesday that Pakistan's participation in the World T20 next year in India depended on what sort of response the Indian board gave over the next week or so to the series in December. Khan also complained about getting cold shoulder treatment from the Indian board officials.
But Shukla, who is also the chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) said that the BCCI was looking forward to the continuation of talks between the cricket chiefs of both the cricket boards after the on-going India South Africa ODI series ends on October 25.
"The talks regarding an Indo-Pak bilateral series have not derailed yet and we will continue anytime after the India-South Africa series ends," he told the 'Daily Dawn' newspaper. The senior Indian administrator also said that the BCCI extended full hospitality to the PCB delegation but Shiv Sena spoiled the schedule meeting last Monday.
Najam Sethi who heads the PCB executive committee and also travelled to India with Shaharyar also confirmed that the BCCI had sent them a positive message. "We have got a positive message from the BCCI regarding the continuation of talks," Sethi said.
"Shiv Sena's protest has been a cause of shame for BCCI too and the Indian media has also condemned it," he added. "If they (BCCI) weren't interested in talks, they
wouldn't have indicated towards the possibility of dialogue in near future," Sethi said.
Sethi was PCB Chairman when the two boards signed a MOU under which the two countries play six series between 2015 and 2023 with the first in December to be hosted by Pakistan in UAE. But Shaharyar made it clear at his press conference that the MOU didn't contain any clause that could force India to play the series or allow Pakistan to claim any compensation from them.