BCCI seeks govt’s approval for India vs Pakistan 2017 cricket series

India vs Pakistan is one of the most intense sports rivalries in the cricket world. The match attracts billions of viewers from all over the world. As per reports, there are a possibility of a cricket series being played between India and Pakistan in Dubai later this year if the government agrees.

The arch-rival relations between the two nations, resulting from the extensive communal violence and conflict that marked the partition of the country into India and Pakistan and the subsequent Kashmir conflict, laid the foundations for the emergence of an intense sporting rivalry between the two nations who had erstwhile shared a common cricketing heritage.

This could all come to life once again as the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) has proposed a bilateral series between the two nations in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) between September to November this year, but not without the government’s approval.

BCCI has already reached the Home Ministry, seeking their permission to play Pakistan to complete their obligations under the Future Tours and Programme(FTP). BCCI has proposed a full-fledged series consisting of two Test matches, five One-Day Internationals(ODIs) and two Twenty20s(T20Is).

If given green signal, India is expected to face Pakistan in Dubai which is the makeshift home venue of the Pakistan Cricket Team.

But this could all vanish in a jiffy just like it did the last time a series of this nature was proposed.

The Indian cricket team were scheduled to tour Sri Lanka in December 2015 to play Pakistan. The tour was planned to consist of three One Day Internationals(ODIs) and two Twenty20s (T20Is). Despite several locations being suggested to host the matches, neither side could agree on when and where to play the games and the series did not go ahead.

Originally the tour was scheduled to take place in the UAE between 8 December 2015 and 9 January 2016, with the teams playing three Test matches, five ODIs and two T20Is.

On 24 August 2015 Zaheer Abbas, the president of cricket’s governing body, said that the series might be delayed. In October 2015 Shahryar Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said that Pakistan would consider pulling out of the 2016 World Twenty20 tournament if this series did not go ahead.

In November 2015 the PCB and BCCI were still in talks about agreeing on the location of the series, with the BCCI suggesting it could be held in India, rather than the UAE. A day after the BCCI made its suggestion, the PCB stated that Pakistan could not play a series in India and that the series would only be possible if it was played in the UAE. The PCB’s Shaharyar Khan said that a decision regarding the series lies with the Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.

On 22 November 2015, a meeting with the BCCI and PCB took place, where the possibility of holding the series in Sri Lanka was presented as an option. This would consist of three ODI matches and two T20I matches. The BCCI confirmed that the series would take place in Sri Lanka, with other options being Bangladesh and England, the latter proposed for the Summer of 2016.

However, the Indian government had not granted permission for the series to take place, stating that the final decision rests with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

An outcome on the future of the series was scheduled to be announced on 9 December. However, despite a meeting taking place between ministers from both India and Pakistan, no decision was reached regarding the series.

The last India and Pakistan played in bilateral series was back in 2012-2013 when India hosted Pakistan in a tour consisting of three One-Day Internationals(ODIs) and two T20 international matches. That was Pakistan’s first cricket tour of India in five years.

We can all only hope for the best and expect a riveting encounter between the two arch-rival nations for one more time. But before all that, India is set to play against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match on 4th June, 2017.

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