Shaharyar KhanKarachi (SAT): The chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Shaharyar Khan has said that the PCB would no longer ask India to play the bilateral series planned in the UAE in December.
"I think we have said enough about the series and we are not going to ask them anymore. The ball is in their court now and they now have to decide and inform us about the fate of the series," Khan told reporters.
The former diplomat, in his most strong statement on the coming series and relations with India, said the PCB had done enough on its part to show its keenness to play the series and revive bilateral ties.
"I don't want to say anything more on the series. But what is causing us concern is that from what we know the letter we sent to the Indian board about the series has not gone to their government as yet," he said.
The PCB chief said if the Indian board backed out of the series which Pakistan is supposed to host it would approach the ICC and other member boards.
"The series is part of a proper MOU signed between the two boards and we will pursue this matter if required," he added.
Khan said that Pakistan's stance remained clear that cricket and politics shouldn't be mixed.
"Relations between the two countries have been tense in the past as well but we still played cricket. But since 2007 India has not played a test against us. We will not run after them now it is their turn to decide and realise the importance of reviving bilateral cricket ties."
Khan said that Pakistan had already started work on a Plan B but had not met with success as yet since they were only two teams free in December.
"One is Zimbabwe whom we have already played twice this year and the other is Bangladesh who will be busy in their (domestic) Premier League. But we are looking at other options as well," Khan said.
Pakistan's enigmatic fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar also weighed in with his take on Indo-Pak cricket when he said it was not just Pakistan which needed to play India but also India which needed to play Pakistan.
"It is not just about us wanting to play them. I think it is also important for India to play us. And the fact is the financial rewards from a Indo-Pak series is immense for both boards and the positive is that money will eventually trickle down to the players and in helping the grass roots cricket," he said on Geo Super channel.
"India might be a financial powerhouse but even they know they can earn a lot more from playing Pakistan. There are benefits for both boards."
Akhtar also said that his statement that Pakistan should not play India until the conditions improve was misquoted.
"I just said that Pakistan and India should avoid giving too many statements including cricketers, officials and politicians as doesn't help the relations and there is a need to have Indo-Pak cricket matches."
Akhtar said regardless of what anyone might say, to him Pakistan and India matches remained the pinnacle of international cricket and regular matches would only help in the development of players as well.
(with agency inputs)


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