PCB chief Ashraf hopes to visit India in December
Dubai: Pakistan cricket chief Zakar Ashraf said on Friday he hoped to visit India next month to further efforts to revive bilateral ties stalled since terrorists attacks on Mumbai three years ago.
"I have high hopes of reviving ties with India," Ashraf told AFP on the sidelines of third day-night match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka here on Friday. "I have received a positive reply from India today and hope to tour them next month."
Ashraf`s comments came on the day when blind teams from both the countries started a low profile series in Pakistan, the first visit by any cricket team to Pakistan in three years.
India stalled all bilateral ties with their South Asian neighbours in the wake of terrorist attacks on their commercial hub Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
But there has been a recent thaw, with Pakistan declaring India "the most favoured nation" and both prime ministers vowing to improve ties during their meeting at the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) conference earlier this month.
Ashraf expressed hope he would meet with Narayan Srinivasan, his counterpart in Board of Control for Cricket in India.
"I have high hopes of a positive meeting and when we can have sporting events like kabbadi and blind cricket with India, why not top level cricket which is already regarded as the most sought after series in the game," said Ashraf, who took over last month.
Ashraf said the International Cricket Council (ICC) has already termed Indo-Pak matches as an "iconic series" and everyone is waiting for both the nations to play.
As per the ICC Future Tours Programme, Pakistan and India are slated to play in March next year but India`s hectic schedule is a big hurdle in the series.
But Ashraf hoped a slot will be found.
"When there is a will, there is a way and we hope the bilateral ties to resume sooner than later," said Ashraf.
Pakistan last toured India in 2007, while their rivals have not toured them since featuring in the Asia Cup in 2008.