PCB expects "breakthrough" in Pak-India cricketing ties

Islamabad : PCB chief Zaka Ashraf, held talks with his counterpart, raising expectations of an ``imminent breakthrough`` in the revival of cricket ties with India

"Ashraf held positive discussions on the revival of bilateral ties and (we) expect a breakthrough very soon," PCB spokesman was quoted saying.

India had broken off diplomatic and sporting ties with Pakistan after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai. However, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari``s visit to India last month raised hopes the nuclear-armed rivals are eager to revive ties in sports, trade and travel.

Cricket, the major sport in both countries, was discussed between Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with Singh passing the information on to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). As a result, the BCCI gave the green light to Pakistan`s domestic Twenty20 champions Sialkot Stallions` participation in October``s Champions League.

"The BCCI very wisely wants one step at a time and hopefully there will be more talks on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Malaysia next month and we are confident progress will be made on the revival of ties," said the PCB spokesman.

There has been no bilateral series since Pakistan``s tour to India in 2007. However they have met on three occasions in multi-national events since the Mumbai attacks- Champions Trophy (2009 in South Africa), World Cup (2011 in Mohali) and Asia Cup (2012 in Dhaka).