PCB asks BCCI to host Pakistan`s `home` series

Lahore: In a rather surprising move, the PCB has asked the BCCI to play host to a `home` series of the Pakistan cricket team in the future.

According to well-informed sources, the chairman of the Pakistan board, Zaka Ashraf, made the offer to his Indian counterpart, N Srinivasan, on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Dubai last weekend.

"Ashraf told Srinivasan that Pakistan would be willing to play its future home series on Indian soil if the Indian board was ready to play hosts," a source said.

"Ashraf also told the Indian board President and ICC President, Sharad Pawar, that if India agreed to host Pakistan`s `home` matches the PCB would pay for all the expenses involved in the venture.

"Clearly Ashraf wants resumption of bilateral cricket with India and believes if India agrees to play host to Pakistan`s home matches, the ice will break between the two boards," the source said.

Pakistan, since 2009, has been forced to play all their "home" series at neutral venues as foreign teams have refused to tour the country because of security concerns.

Pakistan have played their home matches mostly in the UAE and even in England and New Zealand in a bid to ensure that the team is not deprived of international cricket.

In August Pakistan will be playing a "home" one-day international series against Australia in Sri Lanka after the Aussies refused to tour the country.

The Indian board has avoided any bilateral cricket relations with Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

"Ashraf has the backing of the Pakistan government in his endeavours and he apparently had a pleasant discussion with the Indians in Dubai," the source said.

Recently Pakistan captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, also called for resumption of regular bilateral cricket ties with India, insisting this would prove beneficial not only to both countries but also to the world of cricket.