India, Pak set to resume cricketing ties

No team has visited Pakistan after attack on Lankan players in 2009

India, Pak set to resume cricketing ties

The two governments are understood to have given the green signal for resumption of cricketing ties and their cricket boards have been asked to draw up a schedule for the teams to meet.However, India’s hectic calendar throughout year is seen as a hitch that might make even a brief series difficult to squeeze in.

According to BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla and Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty, however, they were not aware of any decision to resume cricketing ties.

Under the Future Tour Schedule prepared by the International Cricket Council, Pakistan should visit India for a three Test and five One Day International series in March 2012.

Obviously, it was the highly successful “cricket diplomacy”—the World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Mohali recently that triggered the interest between the two governments in the resumption of sporting ties.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, who watched the match, favoured the move.

Informed sources said on Wednesday that the possibility of Pakistani cricketers figuring in next year’s IPL could also materialise. “This is only an extension of people-to-people exchanges which were never stopped. Recently, Spic-Macay took a team of musicians and artistes to Pakistan. We have already resumed talks at official level which is slated to continue during the year,” sources said.

If the cricket’s administrative bosses manage to find space, an Indian cricket team will visit Pakistan first and a Pakistani team may pay a return visit.

Before the World Cup semi-final match at Mohali on March 30, India last played against Pakistan at an Asia Cup match in June 2010 at Dambula in Sri Lanka. The last bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan was held in 2007-2008 when the Pakistani team had visited India.

No international cricket team has visited Pakistan to play any match after the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on March 3, 2009, when six members of the visiting team were injured.

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