Lahore: Pakistan plans to invite arch rivals India to commemorate its Test 50th anniversary celebrations, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Tauqir Zia said on Friday.
"We hope that once relations between Pakistan and India improve we will invite India to play a commemorative Test as part of our golden jubilee celebrations," Lieutenant General Zia told reporters. Pakistan played its first Test against India in Delhi in the 1952-53 season, but the countries have not played each other for nearly two years. India has maintained a boycott of cricketing ties with its neighbour whom it accuses of fomenting violence in Kashmir. "We hope that the idea comes off for the sake of billions of people in both countries and it will give a boost to our celebrations," Zia said. The Indian government refused to send its team to Pakistan in 2000 for a full Test tour and pulled its team from multi-national events at neutral venues such as Sharjah in April last year. Both teams last played in the Asia Cup league game in Dhaka, Bangladesh in May 2000. India last year also pulled its team from the ongoing Asian Test championship. However, youth teams from both countries met in the International Cricket Council's Junior World Cup in New Zealand in January-February this year. Pakistan has invited Australia and New Zealand for a tri-series as part of its golden jubilee celebrations before the ICC Knockout event in September.