India open to talks with Pakistan, says BCCI
India's cricket board will resume talks with Pakistan next year, a top official told AFP in Mohali today, rekindling hopes of a revival of ties between the neighbours.cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2009 21:01 IST
India's cricket board will resume talks with Pakistan next year, a top official told AFP in Mohali on Monday, rekindling hopes of a revival of ties between the neighbours.
"At the moment India's calendar is crammed but we will resume talks with Pakistan six-seven months later," said Rajiv Shukla, vice president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Shukla's comments came after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt held talks with his Indian counterpart Shashank Manohar on the sidelines of the fourth one-day international between India and Australia in Mohali.
"The BCCI president told Butt that the Indian players were not available for the next few months because of their international commitments. After that we will resume talks.
"In the meanwhile we have to ensure the Indian government's point of view. The diplomatic relations between the two countries also need to be conducive for the talks to resume."
Bilateral ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours were snapped a year ago after the Indian team refused to tour Pakistan amid heightened tension over the Mumbai terror attacks in November.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had to re-draft the Future Tour Programme (FTP) after the PCB complained of being marginalised in the post-2012 schedule, having no series with India.
The FTP, introduced in 2006, aims to provide a structured schedule of cricket for the 10 member countries.
Butt last month said that the new FTP had Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 matches with India.
"Not only Pakistan and India, but the ICC is also making efforts to revive bilateral ties between the two countries as it is imperative that we play against each other in the FTP and we will discuss the option of neutral venues," Butt said.
Shukla however refused to speculate on whether India could play Pakistan at neutral venues.
"We will cross the bridge when it comes. First let us resume our talks."
Three months after India cancelled their tour of Pakistan, international cricket suffered a severe blow when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore.
The March 3 attack, which killed eight people and wounded seven Sri Lankan players and an official, ended any hopes of Pakistan staging top level cricket in the foreseeable future.
The ICC was forced to strip Pakistan of its share of 2011 World Cup matches.
Even before the attack foreign teams had refused to tour Pakistan because of security concerns.
In the last 12 months, Pakistan played one-dayers against the West Indies and Australia in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan will also play New Zealand in a limited over series in the UAE next month.
Pakistan were forced to move their home Test series to New Zealand late in November and will play two Tests against Australia in England next year.