Neither the Government of India nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was interested in a bilateral series with Pakistan. But recently, there were positive vibes in cricketing circles after Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had a discussion with his India counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh during the cricket World Cup semi-final at Mohali earlier this year. Fraternity was abuzz that the government may show some leniency after almost four years.
Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani (left) with PM Manmohan Singh in Mohali.
The hunch became stronger when Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf revealed that he was invited by the BCCI president N Srinivasan to discuss cricketing matters. But those chances of revival have taken a heavy beating following the spot fixing scandal where three Pakistan cricketers -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir found guilty by the Southwork Crown Court in London, were handed jail sentences.
"Firstly, it wasn't our decision to ban Pakistan. It was government's call and if a bilateral series has to happen, the central government has to give its nod. But since both the Prime Ministers met during the World Cup and discussed the issue, there was a glimmer of hope for a bilateral series here. But after this spot-fixing scandal, there is absolutely no chance of revival," a BCCI official told MiD DAY yesterday.
BCCI though was reluctant to have a bilateral series with Pakistan only because of the controversies revolving around them, the official added.