Indo-Pak Test series not possible before 2013

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has admitted that any realistic chance of a bilateral Test series with India would not be possible before 2013.

Chief Operating Officer, Subhan Ahmad said that it appeared with the new ICC Future Tour Program (FTP) to be enforced from April this year that the scheduled Pakistan team`s tour to India in March-April in the old FTP is now being shelved.

"It appears as if both boards now have to make a fresh start in the new FTP with India scheduled to tour Pakistan in 2013," he said.

India didn`t tour Pakistan in early 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, while Pakistan`s tour to India in March-April this year under the old FTP is cancelled due to various reasons.

Ahmad admitted that it is a case of even-steven between the two boards.

"We were demanding compensation for the cancelled tour of 2009 but now with India not hosting us this year, the situation has evened out between the two boards as both have suffered losses by not hosting these series in the old FTP," Ahmad explained.

"This basically means that we make a fresh start as far as bilateral relations are concerned between the two boards from 2013 when India is due to tour Pakistan under the new FTP," he added.

The PCB official however didn`t rule out the possibility of both countries playing an unscheduled limited over series later this year if the FTP commitments of both sides allowed them a window at some time.

"But yes we know even such an unscheduled series will depend on both boards getting clearance from their governments," he said.

The new PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf made a bid to convince the Indians to host the Pakistan for the FTP tour this year but it didn`t materialise as the Indian board made it clear it had to get clearance from its government.

But Ahmad said that Pakistan had a lot of cricket lined up this year and the national team would tour Sri Lanka for a full Test series in May-June, while in August, Australia were due to tour Pakistan to play five ODIs and a T20 match.

He though added that any chance of Australia touring Pakistan would depend entirely on the security situation in the country at that time.

"We feel that if Bangladesh tours Pakistan in April then it will allow us the space to try and convince the other boards to also send their teams to Pakistan," said Ahmad.

Pakistan has invited Bangladesh for a Test series in April this year, subject to security clearance from the Bangladesh government.

Ahmad said if Australia insisted on playing at a neutral venue then the PCB would look at options like UAE, which has become a second home to Pakistan since 2009.


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