India-Pakistan Cricket Series Stalled by Political Tensions, Boards Await Government Clearance.image/AFP
India-Pakistan Cricket Series Stalled by Political Tensions, Boards Await Government Clearance
It’s been a substantial period since the last bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan took place, dating back to the 2012-13 season. Since then, the cricketing rivalry between these two nations has been confined to ICC and continental events. For cricket enthusiasts on both sides, a match between the Indian and Pakistani teams holds special significance, filling stadiums to capacity and garnering immense viewership.
Unfortunately, the strained political relations between the two countries have cast a shadow over the possibility of an India vs Pakistan series in the near future. Amidst this uncertainty, Zaka Ashraf, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Management Committee, made an intriguing statement during a press conference on Wednesday.
According to pcb.com.pk, the official website of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf stated, “As far as India-Pakistan series are concerned, both the boards are ready to play one another as long as there is government clearance.”
As of now, there has been no official response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding this statement. However, in September 2023, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur revealed that the BCCI had previously decided against organizing a bilateral series with Pakistan until the latter puts an end to “terrorism.” Thakur emphasized that the sentiments of the country and the public align with this stance.
The Sports Minister’s declaration followed a tragic incident in which three top Indian security personnel lost their lives in a confrontation with terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir’s Anantnag. The incident fueled national outrage, contributing to the BCCI’s steadfast position on not engaging in bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan until concerns regarding terrorism, cross-border attacks, and infiltration are addressed.
Despite the diplomatic tensions, the cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan manifested at the ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where India emerged victorious by seven wickets. The anticipation continues to build as the teams are scheduled to clash once again in the 2024 T20 World Cup in New York on June 9.
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