20 December, New Delhi
BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur reckons that chances of India playing a bilateral series with Pakistan are ‘difficult’, as Team India will embark on the Down Under tour on January 5.
The BJP MP almost ruled out the possibilities of an India-Pakistan series as the Central government is yet to come up with a decision on revival of cricketing ties with the neighbouring nation,
Asked whether the series against Pakistan was still a possibility, Thakur, who was speaking to media persons after the selection committee met to announce the ODI and T20I sides for the Australia tour, said, Since the Indian team is leaving for Australia on January 5, we are left with very little time. Even if there is a decision in the next week, it will not be possible for Pakistan to organise the series on such short notice. If the Central Government decides in favour of the series, then Pakistan has to decide (whether they can organise this).As of today, it looks difficult.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan had two days back said he was still awaiting BCCI’s written reply on the proposed series later this month besides hoping that the Indian government gives green light to the resumption of cricketing ties in a “day or two”.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the PCB and BCCI, both countries are scheduled to play six series between 2015 and 2023 after a clearance from the Indian Government.
India has not played a full bilateral Test series with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Meanwhile, Thakur backed the BCCI selectors’ decision to retain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the skipper till the ICC World T20 in March-April.
BCCI doesnt discuss players future. Selectors do that with players. He is the most successful Indian captain. He has won two World Cups for India, taken India to No 1 Test rankings. It is only fair that we name him captain till World T20, he said. Thakur also defended the BCCI’s decision to form the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, which in today’s scenario appears totally almost dormant.
The BCCI is honoured that players like Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly have come on board for providing their expertise to help the Board in promoting cricket and bringing in some changes in the grass roots level.
The Rahul Dravid experiment with the India-A and under-19 sides has paid off. We dont meet on a day-to-day basis. But whenever we need their services, these players are there to help the BCCI, Thakur said.