With BCCI stating that it requires government clearances to play bilateral matches between the two arch-rivals, matches between the two teams have been limited to only multi-team tournaments like the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Asia Cup.
The PCB has in fact sued the BCCI for its failure to uphold the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two boards which included six bilateral series between the two sides from 2015 to 2023. The matter was recently heard by the ICC’s Disputes Resolution Committee.
“There is a lot of hypocrisy at the moment. India plays an ICC event against us but doesn’t play a bilateral series. That is something that we need to address,” Mani stated in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
“The main thing is that we play cricket against each other. When we play cricket, especially in our countries – when we go to India or when they come here – helps in increasing people-to-people contact. Indian fans come to Pakistan. many fans have come to Pakistan from India and everyone goes back happy.
“There’s no better way to improve the relations between countries than having sporting contacts, cultural contacts. For me, that is far more important than any amount of money that comes into the game,” the PCB chief continued.
The last bilateral series between the two subcontinent neighbours came all the way back in 2012 and Mani does not see that changing anytime soon with India set to conduct its general elections in 2019.
“Indian public obviously love to see India and Pakistan playing, and so does the Pakistan public. Rest of the work is of the politicians and frankly, once India is in the lead-up to its elections next year, so I don’t think there will be any softening in their attitude. But in the long term, the people want it and you can’t go against the will of the people forever,” the PCB supremo explained.
The two sides met twice in the recently concluded Asia Cup in the UAE with India prevailing in comprehensive fashion on both occasions.
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