Pakistan likely to play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches in December

Cricket between India and Pakistan was put on the revival course on Monday, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acceding to a request from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a short series.

The teams will play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches.

Short series

The Board, which took the decision at its Working Committee meeting here, said in a statement: “It was decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the Pakistan cricket team for a short series in December 2012-January 2013. The modalities will be worked out shortly.”

The series will take place subject to government clearance.

Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata will host the ODIs. The T20 matches have been allotted to Ahmedabad and Bangalore. “The venues have been chosen keeping in mind various factors like security, spectator response and the reputation of the staging associations to handle such high-profile contests,” said a Board official.

The PCB had repeatedly appealed to the BCCI to revive cricket ties. The bilateral series came to a halt after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. In their last bilateral series in 2007, host India won 1-0 in Tests and 3-2 in ODIs.

For some time, PCB had even pressed hard, in vain, for matches at neutral venues. “The BCCI was firm that no…series will be held at any neutral venue. It was decided to invite Pakistan after the England team’s visit to India [ending on December 22]. This slot, when England returns home for a Christmas break, was the only window available in a tight schedule,” said the official.

Another Board official Rajiv Shukla claimed that the necessary assurance had been obtained from the government. “I have spoken to [the Union Home Minister] Mr. P. Chidambaram, and he has no objection. The Ministry of External Affairs has also agreed to Pakistan’s visit.”

Pakistan last played in India in March 2011 when it lost the World Cup semi-final to the host country at Mohali. The two countries had initiated efforts for revival of cricket ties from the successful staging of that match. Board sources, however, ruled out any possibility of India travelling to Pakistan in the near future.

Though no Pakistan cricketer figured in the last three editions of the Indian Premier League, the Board invited Sialkot Stallions, the champion team in Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 league, for this year’s Champions League Twenty20. The tournament has since been shifted to South Africa.

More In: Cricket | Sport