Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Ehsan Mani has said that Pakistan and India can't begin playing until and unless the political relations between the two nations are not sorted. He also mentioned that PCB won't request the Board of Control for Cricket in Indian (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly to consider allowing the Pakistani players in the Indian T20 League.
While both India and Pakistan have crossed swords in the ICC events like the World Cup and the Champions Trophy, the nations haven't played on each other's soil in a long time. India, on their part, last played a Test series in Pakistan 14 years back, while Pakistan have not played in India in nearly eight years.
And as far as Indian T20 League is concerned, the only time Pakistan players played in the tournament was during the inaugural edition, where as many as 11 players represented different franchises, and paceman Sohail Tanvir won the Purple Cap for most wickets - 22 wickets in 11 games - for champions Rajasthan Royals.
"Over the years, the PCB has had a number of discussions with the BCCI regarding bilateral cricket. Whether it is T20 cricket or bilateral, all things are in the hands of the BCCI. At this moment I don't have any intention of playing any T20 league with India. First, they have to sort out the bilateral (political) relations with us, and then we will talk," Mani, 75, told IANS in an exclusive interview.
"I am not talking to the BCCI about bilateral cricket. It is up to them to speak to us if they have something to say. The ICC (International Cricket Council) constitution says there should be no government interference. So, I think ICC should be talking to them [BCCI]," Mani, a former ICC president, said, referring to the mandatory permission that BCCI has to take from the Indian government to play against Pakistan.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Farooq Naeem