Pakistan expect 'breakthrough' in India ties
31 May, 2012
LAHORE: Pakistan expect an “imminent breakthrough” in the revival of cricket ties with India, four years after they were severed, a senior cricket official said on Wednesday.
LAHORE: Pakistan expect an “imminent breakthrough” in the revival of cricket ties with India, four years after they were severed, a senior cricket official said on Wednesday. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf and chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed held talks with their counterparts during a visit to India to watch the Indian Premier League final on Sunday.
“We held positive discussions on the revival of bilateral ties and expect a breakthrough very soon,” Ahmed told AFP, without confirming reports in Indian and Pakistani media that a short series is expected as early as December-January. India broke off diplomatic and sporting ties with its neighbour after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai which left 166 people dead and were blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
But the visit last month of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to India has raised hopes the nuclear-armed rivals are eager to revive ties in sports, trade and travel. Cricket, the major sport in both countries, was discussed between Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with Singh passing the information on to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
As a result, the BCCI gave the green light to Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 champions Sialkot Stallions' participation in October's Champions League. “The BCCI very wisely wants one step at a time and hopefully there will be more talks on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Malaysia next month and we are confident progress will be made on the revival of ties,” said Ahmed.
There has been no bilateral series since Pakistan's tour to India in 2007.
However they have met on three occasions in multi-national events since Mumbai — Champions Trophy (2009 in South Africa), World Cup (2011 in Mohali) and Asia Cup (2012 in Dhaka).