PCB upbeat after Ufa

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his India counterpart Narendra Modi, in Ufa, on Friday. (AFP)

Calcutta: The rather dramatic developments on the Indo-Pak front, on Friday morning, have led to cheers in plenty at the imposing Gaddafi, in Lahore, where the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is headquartered.

Diplomat-turned-administrator Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, is on a personal visit to the UK, but some of his senior colleagues had an "informal meeting," at the Gaddafi, in the afternoon.

Basically, the top-ranking officials exchanged notes after taking "immense heart" from the meeting in Ufa, Russia, between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif.

Both went there for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and, by all accounts, the chemistry between the two helped revive the stalled bilateral dialogue.

Of course, those with an agenda aren't going to be pleased, but not talking at all doesn't help anybody.

A senior colleague of Shaharyar, who chose to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph in the evening: "Today, we're more hopeful than ever on the quick resumption of bilateral cricket between our two countries...

"Obviously, fingers will remain crossed. But, now, we're confident that India and Pakistan would actually play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is in the UAE, from later this year."

The PCB is looking to host India from around December 2-3 to January 7-8, 2016.

If that does work out, then India will fly out to Australia from Dubai itself, while Pakistan would head to New Zealand from there.

India and Pakistan have commitments, over a short period, in Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

Bilateral cricket has been at an absolute standstill from January 2013, when Pakistan finished a short tour of India.

But, as often seen in the past, cricket becomes the vehicle to set the ball rolling on a number of fronts bilaterally.

The late General Zia-ul Haq initiated what has come to be labelled 'cricket diplomacy', in 1978, and others have taken the same route. General Zia himself did a repeat, almost nine years later.

In India, more than in Pakistan, it's the government of the day, in New Delhi, which decides whether bilateral cricket will resume or not.

On this issue, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is no factor at all.


Back to top icon