KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt has said that he had asked the president of the ICC, Sharad Pawar, to do his bit in the revival of Pakistan-India bilateral series as soon as possible.Butt confirmed that during his recent visit to New Delhi he had a meeting with Pawar who is also a former president of the BCCI, the TOI reported on Thursday.
“Yes I met with Pawar as he is the ICC president and discussed Pakistan and India bilateral ties with him,” Butt said.”I told him that in his capacity as ICC chief and a prominent figure in India he can assist a lot in the revival of Pakistan and India cricket matches,” Butt said. Pakistan has been pushing the ICC to assist in convincing the Indian board to revive bilateral ties, which have remained suspended since late 2007.
Pakistan toured India in late 2007 and India were scheduled to pay a return visit for a full series to Pakistan in early 2009, but they cancelled the visit after the Mumbai terror attacks in November, 2008, and since than both nations have met in multi ICC events but not in bilateral series.Pakistan is due to visit India in March-April next year but the tour is in doldrums over scheduling issues. The Asian Cricket Council has announced it would hold the Asia Cup in Dhaka from March 12 to 22, having rescheduled the dates already because of the tri-series that India will play against Sri Lanka and Australia in the first 10 days of March. Butt confirmed he had held no meetings with BCCI officials.
The PCB chief, during his visit, also held a meeting with a leading broadcaster in India regarding the coverage rights of international matches hosted by Pakistan. Butt also met with Zee TV network officials as they are the majority stake holders of the Dubai based Taj Entertainment Network (TEN), which presently holds the exclusive rights to all international cricket played in Pakistan.The PCB has a four-year contract with Ten sports, which is going to expire next year. The PCB has also said that its chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmad would be holding talks with BCCI officials over revival of bilateral ties and the dates for next year’s series, which is part of the ICC future tour programme. – Nation