Pakistan wants to play scrapped series with India


Karachi: Pakistan’s cash-strapped cricket board is willing to play a cancelled home series against India in India.

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Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said Monday that to revive bilateral ties with India, the board has proposed the idea of playing Pakistan’s home series, which was supposed to be held early in 2008, on the Indian soil.

Butt said he is in constant touch with Pakistani government, Indian government and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure that Pakistan-India cricketing ties are revived as soon as possible.

Pakistan suffered huge losses when India refused to tour the country early this year for a full series in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008.

Last week, Butt said in a press conference in Lahore that annual losses of 71 percent were incurred on television rights because of the scrapped series against India and the refusal of other teams to tour Pakistan because of security concerns.

Butt said Pakistan had suffered a total loss of $125 million since the other teams began refusing to tour the country in 2008. The PCB lost over $40 million because of the cancellation of the series against India.

Pakistan’s chances of hosting international cricket were dealt a severe blow in March this year when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore. Eight people were killed and seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were injured.

The attacks forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to strip Pakistan of its share of World Cup 2011 matches.

At a meeting with the ICC Task Force, which was former last summer to help the PCB, Butt asked the international cricket chiefs to help stage Pakistan’s bilateral series against India on neutral venues.

The ICC is also considering India-Pakistan matches in England, where Pakistan have relocated a home Test series against Australia later this year.