With the diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan remaining tense, the PCB has ruled out any bilateral cricket series between the two countries even on a neutral venue.

Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief operating officer Wasim Bari told The News that there appeared no possibility of a bilateral series taking place soon.

“The thing is that we can’t line up anything with India unless there is a go-ahead from the two governments,” Bari said.

“For the time being I am not too hopeful of getting that,” he said.

Bari’s statement comes as a dampener for cricket fans since PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt has sounded out optimistic notes on the possibility of reviving Indo-Pak bilateral ties at neutral venues.

During his visit to India, Butt had also spoken to BCCI officials on this possibility and talked about a time frame when the Indian team would be free from international commitments.

But Bari said although the relations between the two boards were fine, they both can’t move forward without getting clearance from their respective governments.

“There are no problems between the boards and once we get a go ahead we can quickly work on a bilateral series anywhere,” Bari said.

Due to the strained relations, India had also avoided scheduling bilateral series against Pakistan in the new Future Tours Program but after protests from PCB, they have now chalked out slots in the FTP starting 2012.

“Not playing India is a big financial setback for us because they are the most marketable team. We have already lost millions since India cancelled their Test tour to Pakistan last year,” he said.

Keywords: PCBBCCIIndiaPakistan

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