Ashraf hopes to break ice with India on bilateral cricket ties

Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf said that he wants to "break ice" on restoration of bilateral cricket ties with India when he travels there next week and held formal discussions with his counterparts across the border.

Ashraf is due to visit India next week on the invitation of the BCCI to discuss bilateral cricket ties including the planned Pakistan tour to India early next year as part of the Future Tours Programme.

"I will go to India with an open mind. We want to break the ice. But at this stage I am not in a position to say anything on the FTP series in India. The picture will only be clear once proper discussions are held," Ashraf told reporters here.

Ashraf said that a clear picture on the matter will, however, be known only after his formal discussions with Indian Cricket Boards officials.

"The response from the Indian Board President Srinivasan to my letter was very positive. But the fact remains that at this stage one can`t say when the next Pakistan and India bilateral cricket series would be played or where," Ashraf said.

He pointed out that when it comes to Pakistan and India cricket relations it was not just about two Boards but about two countries.

"That is one reason why we are keeping the foreign office in the loop even on my planned visit to India. We want to play India on bilateral terms but it would be premature to say which venue we can play at," he said.

Asked about the stance adopted by his predecessor Ijaz Butt about the Indians having to give some compensation to PCB for the cancelled tour to Pakistan in early 2009 after the Mumbai terror attacks, Ashraf said it would be best to make comments after meeting with Indian Board officials.

Asked about PCB having agreed to allow the Bangladesh Board to nominate a joint candidate for the post of ICC vice president, Ashraf denied having struck any such deal.

"We have held no negotiations with the Bangladesh Board as reports suggest that we have agreed to allow them to name a candidate for the ICC post in return for Bangladesh sending its team to Pakistan," he said.

Ashraf said PCB was keen to see international teams visiting Pakistan again.

"Be it part of a triangular tournament involving Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or a bilateral series we just want international cricket to return to Pakistan," he said.


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