No Bilateral Series With Pakistan Cricket Team: Sports Minister Vijay Goel

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The Minister of Sports, Vijay Goel, has made it clear the stand of India on the possibility of playing bilateral series with Pakistan in the future by saying “cricket and terrorism can’t go hand-in-hand”. However, the true cricket fans could enjoy the match between India and Pakistan at the ICC Champions Trophy in England next month at Edgbaston, Birmingham on June 4.

In the last some years, the cricket boards of both the countries tried multiple efforts to organize a cricket series between India and Pakistan, but due to political tensions, it never happened in reality. The Board of Cricket for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are scheduled to meet in Dubai on Monday (today) in order to discuss about the MoU signed between the two countries for bilateral series, but now it looks like that after the comments of Goel, it looks unsure about the future series between both the countries. Goel told reporters, “India and Pakistan can’t play a bilateral series till the terror from Pakistan remains. BCCI should speak to the government before giving any proposal to Pakistan. I have made it clear that bilateral series with Pakistan is not possible till the time there is no cross-border terror. We have, however, no say on multilateral events (ICC tournaments).

As per the ICC Future Tours Programme, the Indian Cricket team is scheduled to play a bilateral series with Pakistan later this year, but differences from across the border had lessened the chances of both the teams playing any bilateral series. The BCCI and PCB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. At the start of this month, the PCB sent a legal notice to BCCI and claimed the damages worth USD 60 million (approx 387 crores) for not obeying the signed MoU.

However, the Dubai’s meeting is going to be represented by BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and PCB’s chairman Shaharyar Khan and legal representatives. The BCCI’s acting secretary Choudhary said, “We still remain committed to playing, but the position doesn’t change: the series cannot go ahead without the permission of the government of India. After PCB wrote to us, we have written to the government of India again, and are awaiting the response. I believe the dialogue should go on, which is why we are meeting.” The sports minister’s comment has made it clear that the chances of bilateral series between India and Pakistan look unworkable.

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