PCB keen to resume bilateral cricketing ties with India

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is more than willing to go and play in India in a bid to resume bilateral cricketing ties with the arch-rivals, which have been suspended since the Mumbai terror attacks in late 2008.

The Chairman of the Board Ejaz Butt yesterday said that they had even spoken to the government about going and playing in India if the opportunity arose.

"We are keen to resume bilateral ties with them and the Indian board has also given us in writing that whenever the governments give the clearance they will have no objection in resuming the ties. They owe us a series," Butt told reporters.

The Indian board (BBCI) suspended bilateral ties with Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 and cancelled a full tour to Pakistan in early 2009, causing millions of dollars of loss to the PCB.

Butt indicated that the issue of bilateral cricket ties was also on the agenda of the meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries held recently.

"We are pretty hopeful and if nothing else we want to even start off by playing at a neutral venue. England has already said they would be willing to host the series," Butt said.

He also added that PCB was keen to play India because it would improve their financial health a lot.

"A series against India can earn us anything between 40 to 42 million dollars, which is far more than what we get playing against other countries. Plus, it is important for world cricket that these two countries play against each other regularly," he said.

The PCB Chief also said that the board was nearly bankrupt and had no option but to play its `home` series at neutral venues after the militants attack on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009.

"We would have gone bankrupt but playing matches at neutral venues bailed us out and our broadcasters were also very supportive. Today thankfully the board is in a stronger financial health and it will become better after the World Cup."


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