Kolkata: What SportsCrunch speculated and predicted, the Union Home Ministry has done exactly that. According to media reports the Home Ministry has categorically refused to grant permission to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to resume bilateral ties with Pakistan.
Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir told reporters on Wednesday, “In the current circumstances cricket between India and Pakistan is not possible.” Under the Future Tours & Programme (FTP) agreement that was signed in 2014, India and Pakistan were supposed to meet in November, but with the government standing firm on its stance, it is unlikely that we will get to see the two teams clashing in a bilateral series. To add to it, the FTP states that all tours should be cleared by the governments. The BCCI decision is justified in the wake of a troublesome relation between the two countries post the Uri attack last year and news of infiltration from Pakistan becoming a daily phenomenon.
According to a BCCI official, “It’s procedure which the board has to follow. If we want to play Pakistan we can’t get up one day and say, we will be playing them. We need the government’s clearance way in advance so that we can plan it out.” The official also said that they would inform the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that they tried to abide by the FTP agreement but the government didn’t give the clearance.
On Dubai as the venue for the series, the official said, “If the government gives the green signal then the BCCI will decide where to play. If there is no approval from the government then we can invite other countries to play in that particular window. That is why the board had sent a letter to the ministry to clear their stand with regards to playing Pakistan.”
India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India. After that there hasn’t been a single series between the two countries though they have had face-offs in tournaments like the World Cup, Asia Cup and ICC T20. The fans no doubt are deprived of the excitement centring around Indo-Pak clashes, but with political tension getting the better of the game, fans have to prolong their wait.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)