‘Indian government set to reject BCCI plea for Pakistan series’

223895.3ISLAMABAD: The chances of a bilateral series between India and Pakistan have taken a hit as reports are rife that the Indian government has raised an objection to it and is set to reject the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) plea for the same.

“The government has given us an indication that public sentiment at the moment is not in favour [of the series]. Also, there are only a few days left for the proposed series to start [in the latter half of December]. If the government wanted us to play, we would have received clearance long time ago. So, I don’t think this series is happening,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times on Friday.

After a lot of debate and discussion, Sri Lanka emerged as a possible venue for Pakistan’s ‘home’ series but the Indian government has poured cold water over BCCI’s intentions. Even Sarbananda Sonowal, the sports minister, had thrown his weight behind BCCI’s hope to have an India-Pakistan series, saying the board needs to be supported.

“We play Pakistan in the World Cup. We played them in the 2015 World Cup, will play them next year in the Asia Cup. Then will again play them in the month of March in the World T20. So when you play them in a multinational tournament in world events, then what stops you from playing them in a bilateral series? So that’s the question we have to answer,” Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, was quoted as saying.

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