No bilateral cricket series with Pakistan till cross-border terror continues: Government
Sports Minister Vijay Goel on 29 May reiterated the government's stand on India-Pakistan bilateral cricket, stating that a series was not feasible while terror emanates from across the border.
India have not played any bilateral cricket with Pakistan since 2007 although in the winter of 2012/13, Pakistan made a short goodwill tour to India that included three One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals.
Goel added that the cricket board must talk to the Indian government before proceeding with any proposal for the series.
"BCCI must talk to government first before proceeding. Bilateral series with Pakistan will be difficult because terror and cricket can't go hand in hand. As far as multi-lateral events are concerned, we have no control over those. So the two countries will continue to play each other in such tournaments," the Minister said.
"Pakistan is spreading terrorism in Kashmir, indulging in cross-border terrorism. In these cases, we can't have bilateral series with Pakistan," he further added.
Goel's comments came after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said that India was not averse to playing a bilateral series against Pakistan.
"We are not averse to a bilateral series with Pakistan. But everything depends on whether the government gives the clearance," Chaudhary said.
"The series will not be possible without approval from the government," he added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already sent a legal notice to BCCI claiming damages in tune of USD 60 million (Rs 387 crore approx) for allegedly not honouring the MoU that had stated five bilateral series in the cycle between 2015-2023.
According to news agency PTI, BCCI officials led by joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary are going to meet PCB this week in Dubai and explain it to the Pak board that series can't be held without government permission and would also request them to withdraw the case.
"We are not averse to a bilateral series with Pakistan. But everything depends on whether the government gives clearance. The series will not be possible without approval from the government," Mr Chaudhary said on Monday.
The cash-strapped PCB's finances heavily depend on a series with India, which would mean a financial windfall for the nation, where no international cricketing activity has taken place since a terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.
- - With ANI inputs