NEW DELHI, July 16: The Indian cricket board said on Monday it had invited Pakistan for a series later this year, their first in five years, in a further sign of improving ties between the neighbours.
If approved by the two governments, the series would comprise three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games in December-January, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement.
“It was decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the Pakistan cricket team for a short series in Dec 2012-Jan 2013,” it said, adding that modalities would be worked out shortly.
The rivals have not played a series since Pakistan’s tour of India in 2007, after cricket ties were snapped following the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.
The ODI matches will be played in Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi and the Twenty20 games in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla told reporters in New Delhi.
The series will be held when England, who are due to tour India later this year, return home briefly for Christmas and New Year.
Cricket ties have been the subject of discussions between the two governments that have been holding regular meetings in a bid to improve ties and eventually thrash out a peace agreement. Indian and Pakistani cricket teams have only met in international tournaments since 2007. “Once they have decided, then there will be the issue of internal security, which will be reviewed and decided by various agencies.”
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said Pakistan was still not cooperating in the Mumbai attacks probe. “Being a Mumbaikar (hailing from Mumbai), I feel what is the urgency (for a series) when there is no cooperation from the other side,” the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency quoted him as saying.
But fellow former skipper Bishan Bedi welcomed the revival. “It is a step in the right direction,” he told PTI. “The amount of interest and goodwill it will generate will be huge.”—AFP