PCB ready to host India at neutral venue | Pakistan ready to host india
PCB ready to host India at neutral venue: While several Indian cricketers may have strong reservations against playing Pakistan on their soil, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) does not mind hosting India at a neutral venue. Pakistan have been playing most of their home games at neutral venues and if the Indian cricketers and even BCCI are opposed to the idea of playing in Pakistan, PCB is okay with it as long as the cricket resumes.
“We hope to host India sooner than later. If the Indians have problem with the security situation in Pakistan, we are also ready to host them at neutral venues. But cricket should resume at any cost. At least, we are getting positive signals from the government. Though it’s too early to comment, we have been told to get ready,” a top PCB official told TOI.
According to the sources, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is keen to host India in lieu of the 2009 series, which got cancelled due to 26/11. PCB is keen that the Indian team plays first in Pakistan or at a neutral centre before Pakistan come and play in India. But with the BCCI making it clear that there wasn’t any window available for an Indo-Pak series till next year March, the PCB may not mind playing in India first.
PCB also claimed that it has been advocating an Indo-Pak series for a long time, but the Indians were reluctant to resume ties. “Even during the World Cup match in Mohali, the prime ministers discussed it and this is something which augurs well for fans from either side of the borders,” the official added.
Surprisingly, the BCCI top brass is claiming ignorance over any government directive on the resumption of Indo-Pak cricket. But as of now, the board is firm on not sending its team to Pakistan. Sources said that some of the senior cricketers are completely against travelling to the country till the perpetrators of 26/11 are brought to book. “No team is willing to play in Pakistan, why should we play there. If we play them at neutral venues, we don’t mind?” an Indian cricketer made a point.
The World Cup winners exuded confidence that the board would support them on the issue. “We can host them if the government is willing, but going to Pakistan is completely out of question. The board members will have to meet before taking further call on Indo-Pak cricket resumption,” a BCCI official said. TimesofIndia